Logging halted over Christmas; locals consider options for action.

March 16, 2014

Among my earlier posts on the blog that you access at www. writingsmall.wordpress.com, you can find articles that I wrote, while working for the Gulf Islands Driftwood on Salt Spring Island, BC, about the Texada company’s clear cutting of the majestic Douglas firs that caused an eruption of protest from environmentalists on the island during my second year living there.

Here is another story on this subject:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

December 22, 1999

Logging halted over Christmas; locals consider options for action

by Tanya Lester

Non-violent civil disobedience in opposition to Texada’s logging on Mount Tuam recieved a show-of-hands vote from 197 people, with only three opposing the action at a public meeting held last Thursday.

Texada has been logging at a rate of 12 trucks per day, according to Colin Rankin, who also helped facilitate the meeting in Fulford Hall.

Rankin was met with cheers when he announced that Texada would cease logging on Mount Tuam beginning this Wednesday through to January 4.

Salt Spring Islanders opposed to Texada logging shifted out of a crisis response mode and began exploring pro-environmental  activist options during the course of the evening, as suggested by facilitators Rankin and Robert Osborne.

Osborne asked those in attendance to choose one of the options posted on newsprint in black pen on walls around the room. 

These included: lobby for private law regulations, stop logging, work with developers, community logging land swap, fundraising and other ideas.

Each option was discussed before Osborne proposed that people “go shopping for a choice.”

“Stop logging” was chosen by the largest number of people at the meeting. 

“We need to get out on that road,” said Sally Sunshine, who supports direct action by blocking the road the Texada trucks are using to bring logs down from Mount Tuam.

Sunshine suggested “stop clear cutting” would be a more specific term to use instead of “stop logging”.

The second largest group chose “fundraising”. Brad Andrews , who lives on Beaver Point Road decided to go with this group in the belief that there are several ways to help fund the $30 million-plus to purchase the Texada-owned Burgoyne Bay and Mount Tuam lands.

Andrews suggested enlisting the help of a conservancy group and lobbying governments to provide tax breaks to those willing to donate money for the land purchase.

During the meeting, environmental activist Briony Penn announced that the Salt Spring Conservancy has donated $1000 towards the land purchase. She said this has been matched with another $1000 from supportive individuals.

Penn will be spearheading a “rats leaving the sinking ship” campaign this Thursday.

Activists are being asked to dress as rats and take the ferry to Swartz Bay in a media campaign which will draw attention to the fact that the provincial government has not been forthcoming with the $30 million allotted for the Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy Fund promised by the year 2000.

Penn said the group, after arriving in Swartz Bay where they expect media attention, will proceed to the B.C Legislature to confront Environment Minister Joan Sawicki.

Out of the “other ideas” group came the idea from Jonathan Grant to erect a cross for every truckload of logs being cut by Texada.

Another person suggested a 500-year plan for logging the land.

A general feeling among those in attendance was that the halt in logging will provide activists time to make choices concerning their protest strategy.

It was announced that people participating in the annual winter solstice walk this Wednesday will focus on the cut trees as they walk up Mount Tuam as well as on the deaths in the plane crash this year and the monastery fire.

Those going on the walk were asked to assemble on Fulford dock at 9 a.m.

Penn said those interested in being part of the “rats leaving the sinking ship” action should meet at Fulford Harour at 1:30 p.m. to take the 2 p.m. ferry to Swartz Bay.

Earlier in the evening, Penn, dressed in a long, green velvet dress accentuated with black gloves, used “her body” in a theatrical presentation of Salt Spring Island pointing out “bumps” that represented the situation of forest preservation on the island…

                                                                                          –END–

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You can read the first few pages of Tanya Lester’s book Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader by going to the book title and author name where you can also purchase it at www. amazon.com 

 

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