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Primeval: Enter the Incomappleux film showcases Ancient Forest, Mountain Caribou Park Proposal

By Contributor
November 6th, 2016

Residents of the Nelson area are invited to the premiere of Valhalla Wilderness Society’s film, Primeval: Enter the Incomappleux, from 7-9 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre on Wednesday evening, November 9.

Under the expert hand of filmmaker Damien Gillis, the film captures the magic and majesty of a forest that has been growing continuously for thousands of years, with trees up to 1,800 years old. In doing so, it delivers a stinging indictment of the BC government’s policy of logging old growth forests.
Gillis’s recent film, Fractured Land, won the Best BC Film and the Canadian Audience Award at the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival. Later that year  he trekked with VWS director, Craig Pettitt, and a team of scientists, deep into the Incomappleux Valley near Revelstoke to document the 1,800 year old trees and the profusion of biodiversity that can only be found in these ancient forests. Gillis says: “It was an incredible privilege to be invited into this unique larger-than-life world pulsing with life.”
The upper Incomappleux Valley is part of the Valhalla Wilderness Society’s proposed Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park, which would protect the ancient forest and provide vital connectivity for wildlife between three existing parks. At the premiere, Pettitt will brief the audience on significant new developments underscoring the urgency for establishing the park to protect the dwindling Mountain Caribou and the forest from logging.
“We focused the film on the Incomappleux because the logging company, Interfor, holds the permit to five approved cutblocks and could cut into the heart of the ancient forest at any time, before the public even knows about it,” says Pettitt.
Driven by that threat, a crew of numerous Valhalla Wilderness Society volunteers worked for over a month to slash through 35 kilometres of alder thickets on the old road, and clear a trail through avalanche debris, so the science team and film crew could have access.

The team had to backpack filming equipment and supplies for seven kilometres into base camp.
The scientific team included biologists Dr. Toby Spribille, Veera Tuovinen, and Dr. Piotr Lukaski from the University of Montana, and BC bear biologist Wayne McCrory. Spribille, who with his colleagues documented 300 species of lichens in the Incomappleux Valley, discovering 8 species new to science, will be present to address the audience at the film premiere at the Capitol Theatre on November 9.

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