7th July 2018
"Water and Wood: Our Future" held on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at Char's Landing in Port Alberni.
-Welcome, introductions, acknowledgement that we meet on the unceded traditional lands of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath peoples (Edna Cox)
-Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition - background, concerns re watersheds, and approach to BC Government - the four asks (Edna Cox)
- Current logging of old growth trees in the Nahmint Valley and about McLaughlin Ridge (Mike Stini and Jane Morden, Watershed Forest Alliance))
-Save Our Valley Alliance: background; situation on the Beaufort Range then and now (Gail Morton)
-First Nations' concerns about current forestry practices (Brenda Sayers, Hupacasath First Nation)
-Power point presentation: Forestry on Vancouver Island, including successful grassroots campaigns and ways in which vulnerable forests may be protected (Torrance Coste- Western Wilderness Committee)
-Questions and Answers (35 minutes)
-Opportunity to sign letter to BC Government in support of the Four Asks (The letter is attached).
The turnout was small especially given the early, targeted email notices, media notices and posters. We understand that other organizations had scheduled their AGM's for this same evening, which may explain the low turnout.
Torrance is willing to use social media to get the word out about future meetings.
I had invited Judith Sayers, President of the Nuu-cha-nulth Tribal Council (and Brenda's sister), but she was unable to attend. "Next time", she said. She was to send a statement to be read at the meeting, but that did not arrive.
We are sending 25 letters of support to John Horgan and Doug Donaldson; more may be forthcoming as the letter circulates further in hard copy and through email.
I am also reminding my email contacts that they can sign online via the VIWWC website.
The contact with Brenda Sayers was an unforeseen bright spot. We shared emails and she is keen to stay in touch and work with others here in the Valley.
This contact with a local First Nation is hopeful; Brenda is already involved with the Watershed Forest Alliance folks and their initiative re the $1.4 billion put aside by the federal government to purchase lands for conservation.
( Brenda led a legal challenge to FIPA, which made it to the Supreme Court before being disallowed.)
Report submitted by Edna Cox