Mosquito Creek Watershed
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North Vancouver covers a large area, yet it contains little Old Growth Forest. The remaining stands exist as forest fragments. Most are poorly known and inadequately protected.
Isolated old growth trees (primarily Douglas-fir) are more common. The majority of these were left alone because of poor accessibility to logging, or because they were unusable due to shape aberration, damage due to a lightning strike, or spiral grain.

The area containing the largest Old Growth forest fragments lies between 340 and 740 metres elevation on the west side of Mosquito Creek on the southeast slope of Grouse Mountain.
A very narrow strip of Old Growth forest also occurs opposite - along the east side of Mosquito Creek, on the steep west slopes of Fromme Mountain.

The remnant Old Growth forests in the upper Mosquito Creek watershed initially appear to be separate sites. However, they are closely associated with one another and may actually be continuous. Their combined size is approximately 28 hectares (70 acres).

These forests are provided with some degree of protection by being within the PRO zoned Alpine Area in the District of North Vancouver.
More comprehensive protection would be possible through designation - as a Natural Parkland, Conservation Area, Conservation Site, or Heritage Site.
In addition to designation, specific management policies are needed.
For example, trails, particularly bike trails, are not appropriate within much of the forest as the terrain is steep and the vegetation fragile.

From a report by David L. Cook

Area 1
Grouse Mountain.
24 hec/60 acre.
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), Pacific (Western) Yew (Taxus brevifolia)
Amabilis Fir (Abies amabilis), Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla).

This area has been mostly unscarred by the logging of the last century.
On its southwest margin, old growth red cedar stumps and some living trees with spring board holes and undercuts attest to the sudden halt in logging.
The only indication of recent disturbance is a strip of wind-thrown forest through the centre which is now thickly vegetated with red cedar and Western hemlock saplings about ten years old.
This forest consists of many old growth Western Red Cedars up to about 2.7m/9ft in diameter at chest height, as well as some old growth Pacific (Western) Yew and old growth Amabilis Fir. The largest yew is a giant by yew standards. There are also Western Hemlock.
The tall tops and darker foliage of the old growth trees can be seen from many locations in North Vancouver and from downtown Vancouver.
The size of this forest probably makes it ecologically sustainable. It is an ideal and probably unique opportunity for study. Its viability is further enhanced by the presence of a buffer zone of mixed old growth/second growth forest around it and its connection to the vast forests immediately north.

Area 2
Grouse Mountain.
2 hec/5 acre. Adjoins Area 1.
Pacific (Western) Yew (Taxus brevifolia), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata).

These yew trees lie within a selectively logged area, which still retains some isolated old growth Western Red Cedar. This forest also contains some small wetland areas with skunk cabbage and a rich assortment of other ephemeral herbs. There are no trails, but there is a remnant skid road side branch that penetrates the forest.

Area 3
Grouse Mountain.
3.2 hec/8 acre.
Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata).

This grove of old growth is located above the Mosquito Creek canyon near a wooden crib dam constructed during the last century.
The grove contains Douglas-fir Heritage Trees HT23, HT24 & HT25. Another old growth Douglas-fir and at least two old growth Western Red Cedars have not yet been given HT numbers. The grove is well known and has been described in "Hiking Guide to the Big Trees of Southwestern B.C." by Randy Stoltmann.
It is a popular venue for visitors, and a complex of trails cuts through the area. As shown by the amount of cultural litter, it has been used over a long period of time. Because of this high use, there is now considerable degradation of understory and soil cover.
The partially logged forest between these three areas contains a number of isolated trees and groves of old growth Western Red Cedar, Douglas-fir and Pacific (Western) Yew.

Area 4
Fromme Mountain.
Opposite Areas 1, 2, and 3.

This is a narrow strip of old growth forest on the east side of Mosquito Creek. The very steep slope supports some giant old growth Douglas-firs. Old growth Amabilis Fir and yew trees can be seen from the west side of the Mosquito Creek canyon.