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Friends of Cathedral Grove (FROG) vs. The Government PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Saturday, 08 January 2005 05:58
Text of an interesting email Ingmar Lee sent to his contact at the Ministry, and more information about what the government are doing in our forests without our knowledge. Hi Chris,

I expect that you will have seen our January 5th 2005?Press?Release regarding the?impending new addition to Cathedral Grove. I hope that you will understand our reasoning for taking such action, as we have always said that the parking lot?is only an aspect of our concerns for the Grove.

We had become aware about the secretive surveying being conducted in the Weyerhaeuser lands next to the park before Christmas, and had raised some concerns. I asked you what was happening there, and you said that you didn't know anything and suggested that I call Highways about it. Nevertheless,?once we were able to see the surveyors map it became very clear what was going on. We felt that it was important to bring this new development to the awareness of the public right away, as we realized that nobody was going to be consulted on this transaction and it was clear that this was to be a surprise announcement. Without being offered any opportunity to input into this acquisition process,?we wanted to frame the issue according to our perspective.

We are particularly concerned about Weyerhaeuser receiving any PR credit for foisting off its logged out stump-fields onto the BC taxpayer once again. They should get no credit whatsoever for that, as they offer nothing but stumps to this beautiful park which is famed for huge, ancient trees. Although they do offer the section of CMT forest where the Friends of the Grove have have brought to the public and First Nation's attention, we know that?Weyerhaeuser NEVER would have gotten away with logging there, so even that is not an offer made with any kind of generousity or good feelings to forest-loving British Columbian's. It is quite simply, a scam.

I hope that you will appreciate that we have a much greater vision for the magnificent ancient forest which still stands in the Cameron Valley adjacent to?Cathedral Grove. It is a vision which will bring far more benefits, both ecological and economic?to the citizens of Vancouver Island, the good relations with First Nations, and the ever-increasing awe-struck crowds of tourists?from around?the world who come to this area specifically to see the fabulous forest. A logged out stumpfield, and the log & flog devastation of this priceless resource for the pittance of return to the people of BC is an utterly unacceptable use for this area.

I hope that you will continue to discuss our alternative parking proposal with us. We could all be so much more trusting and considerate if only these considerations for the future of this magnificent Cathedral Grove Park would involve?everyone who truly care for its best possible future. These are not trivial concerns. The increasing rarity of first-rate wilderness on this planet make this a perfectly legitimate effort.

Sincerely, Ingmar

I wish you a successful and Happy New Year!


From: richard boyce < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Parksville, Victoria (see contact information below)

January 5, 2005

BC Government and Weyerhaeuser reach a Secret Deal to add new stump-field to Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Park)

The Friends of Cathedral Grove have discovered that Weyerhaeuser and the Campbell government have reached a secret agreement to add about 140 hectares of recently logged land
to the world-famous park. This new addition would be withdrawn from Weyerhaeuser's private holdings which virtually surround the park. It would be in addition to the 21-hectare
stump-field which the previous government acquired from the giant American logging company for $1.7 million in 1999. In the latest proposed addition, 75% is also a stump-field.

This backroom deal excludes the old-growth forest remaining in the Cameron Valley that is currently outside the park boundaries and which is slated for logging by Weyerhaeuser. The
Friends of the Grove are demanding that some 400+ hectares of standing ancient forest in the Cameron Valley directly adjacent to Cathedral Grove should be expropriated from
Weyerhaeuser. Has this government even considered offering the return of these lands to First Nations whose historic stewardship and usage is so clearly in evidence? If not, why not?

During the several weeks before Christmas, survey crews had been seen working in the Weyerhaeuser clearcuts on the south side of the Grove. When questioned by people currently
blockading the construction of the Campbell government's proposed 150-slot parking lot, the survey team initially refused to say what they were up to. (The Cathedral Grove
marathon blockade is now into its 10th month of 24/7 occupation.) Finally when directly questioned by Friends of Cathedral Grove, they admitted they were surveying "the new
addition to MacMillan Park." Island videographer and FROG member, Richard Boyce, was able to snap a photo of the new addition boundaries over the shoulder of the surveyor (see
attachment). Richard Boyce said; "Back-room land deals between government and Weyerhaeuser will continue to leave First Nations and the general public without a voice."

Ingmar Lee, a Friend of Cathedral Grove spokesperson said, "Here's Weyerhaeuser once again trying to flog off a logged-out stump-field to the people of BC for millions of dollars. The
land is now useless to Weyerhaeuser and is nothing but a tax-burden to them. The final ancient fir forest still standing in the Cameron Valley must be protected.?

Friends of the Grove are clear that this government purchase of a stump-field does not in any way mitigate the negative impacts of the government?s current plan to locate a large
parking lot on the floodplain upwind of the Grove. They continue to support the more benign alternatives they have presented to the government.

The ancient forests of the Cameron Valley are some of the last remnants of Vancouver Island's once-magnificent Douglas fir forest, 97% of which has been decimated by 150 years of
industrial logging. FROG member Krista Roessingh said "Culturally Modified Trees (CMT's) can be found disbursed throughout the old-growth in the Grove. They attest to the careful, sustainable use of these forests by First Nations, and prove their historic tenure and ownership of these lands. We think they should be returned to the true stewards who cared so lovingly for these precious forests for millennia. Why hasn't the Province considered returning the land to them as part of recent land transfers? Weyerhaeuser apparently has no concern for these historic artifacts, as CMT stumps can be found throughout their Cameron Valley clearcuts.?

- 30 -

Attachment #1:? BC Government map prepared for presentation purposes. The ?new acquisition? referred to is the 1999 purchase from Weyerhauser.

Attachment #2:? Photo by Richard Boyce. Shows air photo map in the hand of a surveyor. Boundaries are believed to show logged area which comprises BC Government?s proposed new
purchase from Weyerhaeuser.

For more info and pictures: www.cathedralgrove.se

Contacts for Friends of the Grove:

Ingmar Lee
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(250) 721-9445

Krista Roessingh
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(250) 721-9445

Richard Boyce
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(250) 248-3682

Other contact information:


Sandy D. McDade, Senior Vice President, Canada

Craig D. Neeser, Vice President,
British Columbia
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
5th Floor, Cathedral Place,
925 West Georgia Street
Vancouver BC Canada V6C 3L2

Sarah Goodman, Public Affairs Manager
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Vancouver, BC
(604) 661-8408
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Government of BC:

Hon. Bill Barisoff
Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection
Room 112
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
Phone 250-387-1187
Fax 250-387-1356
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Chris Kissinger
BC Parks
Recreation Section Head
Vancouver Island Region
Parks and Protected Areas Branch
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
Phone 250-337-2415
Fax 250-337-5695
Last Updated on Saturday, 08 January 2005 05:58

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