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He says the CCF could technically back out of its tenure agreement but that the implications of that are the province would give the logging tenure to another company with less vested interest in preserving old growth, amongst other things. Old growth means good wood. There would be more logging, at a bigger and more industrial scale.
"This is not interior mountain, pine-beetle, 100 hectare clear-cuts. This is small-scale forestry, low-impact - that's what they want and they accepted in the management plan and that's how they got their tenure awarded," he says.
Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed, who could not be reached for comment for this story, told Pique previously that, "A lot of the tourism products you see depend on forestry. It wouldn't exist if forestry hadn't built the roads, if forestry hadn't maintained the roads, and many of those roads would in fact be closed if it wasn't for forestry. We need to understand that there is a symbiotic relationship."
But this is exactly the problem for some people. It's not just about cutting the trees down, it's about preserving Whistler's greatest assets. As the tourism focus moves away from winter-only sports, away from the mountains and Whistler Village into backcountry territory, there's a greater urgency to preserve the forests and old growth that make mountain-biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling etc. part of a unique Whistler experience.
One of the more aggressive critiques was by Van Powel in his "Oly and the Fat Cats" video where "Oly," after discussing with a tree its impending doom, asks tourists not to visit Whistler until the cutting of old growth had ceased.
Allan Crawford, owner of Canadian Snowmobile took out several full-page ads in local newspapers, pleading with officials to "PLEASE cancel your outrageous plans to cut down trees," due to the irrecoverable long-term losses to the tourism industry that may come as a result of old growth logging.
Crawford briefly became the torchbearer for a cause he believed in but never really wanted to be the face of. He recognized from the start he was in a difficult position and that people would object to the "snowmobile guy" lobbying the "green" municipality to save the trees.
As a result, Crawford has backed down from his role in the campaign to stop old growth logging in the region.
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