Thursday 7 October 2010

McNair Lake

Trip Date: October 3, 2010

As I gingerly ease the Tracker in and out of the large holes that crater the road leading away from McNair Lake, the springs in the seat creak and we sway this way and that. My passenger (contented and glowing from sucking in great drafts of beauty) leans over conspiratorially and says  "You won't blog about this place, right?"

I've heard this appeal before. The concern seems to be that if I show people what a special place it is they will all flock to it and trample the beauty into mud and gravel and then throw beer cans and old tarps in the water. We have seen this in too many other places already.
Lunch At McNair
The trouble is, that if the yahoos don't be-spoil it the forest companies probably will. The trees around McNair are getting big enough to harvest. Before long the saws will start to whine and the hillsides will lose their beautiful blanket of undulating fir to be replaced by a patchwork of logging cuts. Beauty is not nearly as valuable as logs and fiber.

I'm not against logging. I'm not a tree spiker or tree hugger. But I have to confess I feel pretty sad to think that this area will soon look like a half plucked chicken.

The Sayward forest should, in my humble opinion, be protected because of it's beauty. But my opinion isn't likely to have much effect on changing the fate of this place. Still, I do what I can. And part of what I can do is post some photos and at least let posterity see what a beautiful place this was before the loggers had their way with it.

Because of course once the saws get busy it will be a hundred years or more before it will look like this again. I'll be long gone by then. I wonder if my photos will remain? Probably not.

So what is this post about then? Perhaps just one human mind contemplating how everything changes and celebrating the beauty while it is still here.

For more photos of McNair Lake, click here.


  1. Thank you....for showing us this beauty.
    It saddens me to think that we humans feel free to change beautiful gifts such as this lake, into something we deem more "valuable".
    What an awesome day you must have had here....breathtaking for sure!

  2. Thanks Dawn, if only we could put a price on "stress reduction," or "centering" or one of the other benefits we get from visiting places like this, eh?

    There are a few spots on the Island that are achingly beautiful, yet I guess only for those who have eyes to see...

  3. Thank you for showing us places like this that might not be around for long, it's sad and it happens here too!

  4. gorgeous lake. i'm sure if you could get there by vehicle, others know if it, and likely fish it, so it certainly isn't unknown. as far as sharing your experiences and reverence here with others, it's appreciated so don't worry about it! those who want to fill that lake with Lucky beer cans and shotgun shells, and otherwise destroy it probably can't read, and if they can, they aren't reading your stuff that much i'm certain of.

  5. Stunning scenery and captured so skillfully by the photographer :)

  6. So you drove in on logging roads and deplore logging?

  7. Dear anonymous commenter, why are you criticizing me for feeling sad about the destruction and loss of beauty?

    If you read my blog in any detail you will discover multiple places where I explain that I do not deplore logging. I deplore logging that spoils beautiful places. This is one of those beautiful places. There are thousands of miles of hillsides on the island that I have no particular attachment too, although I do think we should be leaving more old growth as is done in some countries to preserve genetic diversity, and increase future yields. From the research I have done it is clear that older trees put on more wood each year than young trees, and if we were thinking about the wealth and security of our grandchildren, we would be insisting that the forests be managed on a 300 year rotation, but I doubt that will ever happen because we are all so short sighted.

    There are about a dozen lakes I have visited that I think would benefit from a wide margin left around them like exists at Maple Lake in Courtenay. That extra buffer would make all the difference to preserving their beauty in perpetuity, but no, the trees will likely be taken almost to the lake shore because no one speaks up. This is me speaking up. Please provincial government who manages the forests for all British Columbians, leave more trees around lakes to preserve the beauty.