September 19, 2017

For immediate release

CEDAR, BC – The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) acquired Wildwood Ecoforest in December 2016 and will now be conducting a timber harvest this October, building on the legacy of ecoforestry pioneer Merv Wilkinson. In advance of the harvest event, EIS ecoforesters are offering our first ever daylong workshop open to the public and available by donation.

The workshop takes place at Wildwood on Saturday, September 30, with a meet and greet from 9 am to 10 am, and an interactive workshop scheduled from 10 am to 4 pm. The workshop will appeal to First Nations, forest land owners, forest licensees, forestry professionals and students, and those interested in an ecologically sustainable model of forest management. Participants will be offered insight into ecoforestry theory, EIS forestry planning and tree selection, and legal protection measures for Wildwood as well as a Q&A session, a Wildwood tour, and an opportunity to socialize and network.

Wildwood is a renowned demonstration ecoforest, the longest continuously managed ecoforest on the west coast of North America. Merv Wilkinson began logging the property in the mid 1940s after studying the Scandinavian method of selective harvesting. Over the decades, Merv harvested more than 450 truckloads of logs from the property, while aiming to ensure that the ecosystem and habitat remained fully intact. A keen observer of the forest, Merv was constantly adapting his practices and was proud of the fact that the forest was entirely self-generating and he never had to plant a tree. He also left the largest, oldest trees standing to maintain habitat and diversity in the forest.

EIS seeks to continue Merv’s work at Wildwood as tangible evidence that humans can benefit from the environment while ensuring its protection in perpetuity. Wildwood stands as a global example of an ecoforest, boasting numerous old growth and mature trees, intact wetlands and lake foreshore, and an abundant wildlife habitat managed in a woodlot landscape.



Peter Jungwirth is an EIS Director and former chair. A former student of Merv Wilkinson, he has a deep knowledge of ecoforestry and its principles and practices. He is a Registered Professional Forester in both British Columbia and Austria (from where he immigrated) and is also a certified Arborist, tree risk assessor and faller. Prior to immigration, Peter worked in Forestry research. He has designed and instructed several ecoforestry courses.

Barry Gates is the EIS Chair. He is a private forest owner and manages his FSC certified forestlands according to ecoforestry principles and practices.  Beyond Wildwood, Barry is active in forest and watershed initiatives, such as the Elkington Forest conservation community project, the Ecological Design Panel, and the Shawnigan Lake watershed ecological planning initiative.

Erik Piikkila is a BC Forester in Training with Ecoforestry experience in BC, Finland, the US Pacific Northwest, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Redwoods of California. He was trained by the world renowned ecoforester Jerry Franklin. At the BC Ministry of Forests, his work involved assisting 10 Major Forest Companies with 30 different operations, BC Timber Sales and Woodlot Licensees implement the BC Forest Practices Code. He also has an extensive background in silviculture. Most recently, he has been offering a 4Seasons Eco School to K – 12 students and providing eco tours of Wildwood to Vancouver Island University Sustainable Geography students. He is also involved with several watershed groups in the Cowichan Valley.


For more information and to register, please go to Wildwood Workshop or to

The workshop is limited to 40 registrants only. First come, first served. This workshop is valued at $100 per person, and is offered this time only by donation to provide greater inclusiveness to all community members. Please give generously according to what you can afford. We greatly value your donations.

Registrants are asked to bring drinking water, a lunch and food for sharing. They should wear weather appropriate clothing and bring a folding chair.

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Media contact

Kathy Code

EIS Vice Chair and Communications Director


Phone: 250 418-5313