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Cutting down life

Cutting down life I would like to talk about our precious cedar tree and other trees and bushes that will be impacted by the proposed logging in Blackwater Area.

Cutting down life

I would like to talk about our precious cedar tree and other trees and bushes that will be impacted by the proposed logging in Blackwater Area.

Cedar tree has many important uses in our native way of life, such as smudge, baskets, shelter, fishing traps, nets, canoes, paddles, clothing, and good medicine. First, it lives. It lives to do a lot of good deeds for all: animals, birds, and humans alike. Everything growing in the forest, including the cedar tree, acts as a “filter” above and under the ground, and that is how Mother Earth can stay alive forever.

Would you cut down an old growth forest to put money in your pocket to feel rich? Or save the forest to keep all living things alive for generations to come? Because, you can’t eat money! We can live on what Mother Earth has always provided in the forests for thousands of years. She has provided foods for animals and humans.

For example, in Blackwater where the logging is planned to happen any day, the animals will lose their shelter and food source, such as the pine mushrooms. Animals cannot speak for themselves; we humans need to respect all wildlife, so we can all live in harmony. These are our Elder’s teachings from the past that we must continue to carry out for the future generations.

In the meantime, by logging Blackwater, all will be lost, impacting the province and the surrounding communities. Birds, animals, and plants in the area cannot be replaced. It is not worth a handful of money for a select few people. We are preserving our old growth trees in Blackwater forest for all of the St’at’imc Nation to be proud of and for the surrounding and extended communities and for the whole world to enjoy. Blackwater is the gateway to the Birkenhead Provincial Park. People from all over the world visit this area year round. Let’s keep this treasured ecosystem alive by using it in a good way, responsibly.

Remember, what we cut down or destroy today, we will be severing our “lifeline” to our ancestors, the source! Global warming is here, now. Please, stop this madness! Live and Let Live!

Laureen Jack

N’Quatqua Elder

Blackwater in our hearts

The Blackwater region is a diverse, irreplaceable ecosystem that is truly magical. When I hiked the approved cut BL 002 on Mother’s Day, I honoured Mother Earth for creating, “The most beautiful place on Earth.” I know why the 2010 Olympic Games are using that slogan to represent the pristine lands of British Columbia. It’s because we all are blessed to experience this divine nature that the land holds. Spring is blossoming in BL 002 and all over the Blackwater Region, which has always been dear to the hearts of residents from D’Arcy to Whistler. The forest orchids, lady slippers, mountain ash, Ewe trees, trillium lilies, ferns, moss, devils club, box wood, huckleberry, hemlock, cedar, fir, maple, birch, cottonwood and alder trees, oyster, shelf, morel and reishu mushrooms are all flourishing.

There are three creeks running through BL 002, one on each side of the proposed cutting area and one down the middle. The forest is breathing and with each exhale the mist is creating rainbow spectrums on the creek banks over the thick blanket of moss. It is all natural and balanced; a botanical gardener’s dream only six kilometres from my home in Devine. If there was ever a place where faeries could exist it is here amongst the chatter of a forest teeming with life. As I walked through the forest an owl swooped down from her nest in a Douglas fir tree in front of me. I could barely believe my eyes. I looked up into the tree to the perfect nest. It was a humbling experience there in the forest. I departed quietly, the end to a soul-filling day.

The Blackwater region is precious to the community of N’Quatqua, D’Arcy, Devine, Birken & Poole Creek. The school is named, Blackwater Creek Elementary, where our precious children are educated. I believe that it is our duty as parents and adults to protect the Blackwater region and model this loyalty and love to the next generation of care takers, our children. As an early childhood educator, I believe that caring is learned from a child’s primary caregiver and that the caring that we show our children is the way that they will care about the future. Being on the land is crucial to developing survival skills, spirituality, confidence, physical well-being, cultural practices and is a major contributing factor to establishing peace internally and globally. I grew up on Galiano Island, I am a fishermen/hunter’s daughter and the ocean and forest is part of my spirit, my joy and my heritage.

The Blackwater region is part of the N’Quatqua First Nation’s traditional territory, it is part of their ancestry. The region is being utilized. There are culturally modified cedar trees and the forest feeds people with deer, trout, rabbit, bear and mushrooms. The plants in this forest are used as medicine and sustenance. BL 002 is situated in the middle of prime pine mushroom grounds. Pine mushrooms are a sustainable resource in undisturbed forest. These gifts are not to be abused and they are vital for the future.

The N’Quatqua First Nation and D’Arcy community have not given permission to harvest this forest, it is sacred. Over the last 15 years this region has been under threat and the community has been pressured to “give up” by the relentless hand of B.C. Timber Sales. After a unanimous vote against logging at the N’Quatqua Community Hall on March 4 th , 2005, BCTS has continued to bully this community into submission. On April 3, 2007 Lizzie Bay Logging Company met with a group of 40 concerned citizens to discuss their new venture of BL 002 to be purchased from BCTS immediately. Now, we await the arrival of machinery and there are many questions. Where was the meaningful consultation? We said, “No” as a community. Help us!

I encourage everyone to visit this place now. The forest is sending out an SOS to you, it needs our recognition to save it from being devastated by the impacts of logging, road building, machine population, creek/ground water pollution and the disruption of trout spawning habitat. Residents of Blackwater have agricultural and domestic water rights to Blackwater Creek. Beyond the Blackwater Region is the provincial park of Birkenhead Lake, a highly used recreational site, and residents commute to work via this narrow road. Hauling logs is dangerous and our country highway, Old Portage Road, is crumbling and the weight of these 60 to 250 year old trees would be a tremendous strain on the road. This is a fragile situation and these companies must act responsibly for their integrity is at stake and our safety is imperative.

Please visit the peaceful protest site one kilometre up the Birkenhead Lake road at the first bridge and refer to the website, for more information and ways that you can make a difference.

Michelle Klaui


Uproar justified

The uproar over the ugly, non-bylaw conforming, Olympic venue signs is justified after reading Max and the letter by Laurie Vance last week. Remember that we as a community were allowed no say in whether we wanted the Olympics here in the first place. There will be more intrusions on life as we know it here as the big event approaches. The security will be a big challenge and we will be affected, but this is going to happen so we should make the best of it and enjoy the show.

I have been to four Olympics with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and something magical always happens. Some homegrown athlete from our fine village could step onto the podium and thrill us all. That would be huge!

But they should improve the signs.

Terry Spence

Tapleys Farm

This is progress?

Just when I thought we were making progress by eating locally grown and/or organic food, Canada’s “new” government announced last week that it was raising the pesticide limits on fruit and vegetables to harmonize Canadian pesticide rules with those of the United States under the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Both countries currently allow pesticides that have been banned not only in Europe, but in some Third World countries.

David Boyd, a Vancouver-based environmental lawyer, found that the U.S. allows 50 times more Vinclozolin on cherries than the E.U. and 100 times as much Lindane on pineapples. Vinclozolin is an endocrine disruptor. Lindane is an insecticide used to treat headlice and scabies and now banned in 52 countries.

Canada is clearly in a race to the bottom by lowering its chemical residue rules to match those of the U.S. In addition to washing your fruit and veggies, and buying only organic produce, please contact your elected representatives and express your concerns. Demand less pesticide use and mandatory labeling on all genetically engineered foods.

Curtis Christian


A rewarding exchange

School District No. 48 recently had the opportunity to host a group of nine students, aged 12-16, and their teacher from a bilingual school in Monterrey, Mexico. We chose to place them in Pemberton. Three students were at Signal Hill elementary and six students at Pemberton Secondary.

All of the students, and the teacher, thoroughly enjoyed their month's stay in Pemberton. The students didn't want to go home! The whole community of Pemberton embraced these visitors in such a wonderful way. The staff and teachers of the two schools included the students into their classes and made them feel a part of the group. Both school principals, Pat MacKenzie and Lawrence Tarasoff, did an excellent job of smoothing the way for the students to feel part of the school community. Thank you to you both.

Most importantly, the host families were absolutely incredible. I have never seen international students taken in to a family and made to feel such a part of the family before. All of the families went above and beyond in making sure the students felt welcome, happy and comfortable, taking them to see many of our sights and including them in all their daily family activities. The children in the families were also amazing and many sincere friendships were formed between the Pemberton children and the Mexican children. This was a true international exchange.

I want to thank everyone involved in this program so very much for making this program such a success. I am very impressed by the community of Pemberton.

Sally Stacey

Manager, International Program

School District No. 48

Hydrogen a distant possibility

Judi Krzyznowski’s letter of May 10th is a good assessment of the blind pursuit of the hydrogen highway fuelling option. Our company, CDS Research Ltd. based in Vancouver, has worked on most of the major liquid hydrogen fuelling infrastructure projects including the Euro-Quebec hydrogen project and the WE-NET hydrogen initiative in Japan. As the principal of CDS and a resident of Whistler, I’m a member of ISO committee on liquid hydrogen fuelling of aircraft.

In the last decade, most countries have come to the realization that the hydrogen era remains a distant possibility. There is at the present time no economical, efficient and clean option to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen requires also the lowest level of energy for ignition, making its handling particularly demanding for safety. It is most disappointing that the 2010 Olympic Committee has not included other practical options such as LNG (liquefied natural gas).

Current forecasts predict LNG will represent 40 per cent of the world’s natural gas consumption by 2010. LNG fuelling will play a major role in next year’s Olympic Games in China.

Many countries are now pursuing LNG fuelling, starting with heavy vehicles which use diesel. Our company is working on several LNG fuelling infrastructure projects in the U.S. We are also working on an overseas project to fuel 1,000 buses. The total cost of this project is equivalent to the cost of 35 fuel cell buses.

The price of LNG fuelling is also very competitive and stable compared to conventional fuels.

It is relevant to note that Canada is poised to become a major player in LNG. At least eight LNG import terminals are being developed. Our company has worked on five of them.

LNG is natural gas at minus 160ºC stripped of all its impurities including mercury, CO2, water, sulphur, etc. Thus, LNG is cleaner than natural gas.  LNG production has seen considerable improvements in efficiency and environmental management. CDS provided specialist services for the Snøhvit LNG export facility in northern Norway, the first LNG facility to be built within the Arctic Circle. On that facility, the CO2 extracted from natural gas was re-injected underground for sequestration.

As a hydrocarbon fuel, LNG produces the lowest level of carbon dioxide emissions. It gives the opportunity to reduce air emissions and greenhouse gas releases. LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) are widely viewed as practical transition fuels that will buy us some time to figure out other sustainable fuelling options.

Zoher Meratla


Paving the way

RE: Hydrogen Highway potholes (Pique letters May 10)

I am writing in response to the letter by Judi Kryzanowski published on May 10th. I am disappointed to hear that after years of study she has concluded that "you can not get hydrogen from renewable energy sources". This statement is simply not true at all.

In her letter outlining the production of hydrogen fuel she fails to mention the basic fact that hydrogen is the main molecular component of water, not just a major part of fossil fuels and that the by-product of separating hydrogen from water (electrolysis) is oxygen. This process provides a sustainable fuel supply for future generations and also gives society the perfect long-term solution to our greenhouse gas problems.

In B.C. there is an abundance of electricity derived from renewable sources that can be harnessed to produce hydrogen. The obvious solution is that we use hydro-electricity to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, but there is also wind power, wave motion, geo-thermal, solar power and the refinement of bio-mass. All of these sources have the potential to provide us with a sustainable source of hydrogen that can be used to power not only buses but one day cars, trucks, boats and possibly even ferries.

Hydrogen vehicles with regenerative braking and electric motors, with fewer moving parts are also at least five to 10 times more efficient than an equivalent vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine.

This highway has already cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. This is our chance to demonstrate to the world that we can not only reduce our emissions and preserve the environment for our children but the infrastructure we have built today can still be used long after the oil has run dry.

Davin Peterson


Making a difference

It has been my pleasure to help in a very small way the Whistler Community Services Society Greenhouse project. The Muni Parks people, as always, provided some material support and were available to make sure that any help that was needed was there. The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the Rotary Club generously gave financial aid to purchase needed materials to rebuild the collapsed greenhouses. (A good snow year isn’t always a boon to everything.)

While wonderful that these organizations helped, it took someone whose credo and actions combine to benefit our community without thought of personal reward. Through all this one person stands out in my mind as the key to making all the repairs happen. Jim Cooke, you did one heck of a good job.

This man is the quintessential senior that our community benefits so much from having around. Next time you see him, or any person that is graying and helping some community function, give them any help they need and maybe some tidbit of knowledge or a nice smile will be your reward.

Thanks again to all who helped out.

Alex Kleinman


A big thank you

I would like to say thank you to the entire community for the support we received on Friday evening for our CT Scanner Fundraiser. The criterium and bingo night were a huge success! I'd like to thank Tracy Howlett for all her help in organizing the bingo games and helping design the posters, also thanks for remaining calm while I was stressing out! Thanks to Tony Horn and Chris Hodkinson for putting together the criterium on Cut Yer Bars, what a great way to spend a beautiful sunny Friday evening. Also thanks to Tony for putting together the awesome Samurai Slideshow!

Thank you to the staff of Dusty's for putting up with a rowdy bunch of bikers! Thank you to all of the great individuals and companies that were so generous in donating the fabulous prizes that made the event so successful. Unfortunately I can't list all our donors here as I could probably fill a whole page but you know who you are and I thank you for helping support a great cause.

Finally thanks so much to the friends that volunteered their time to help us with the event. Course marshals, people at the door of Dusty's and those helping sell raffle tickets and bingo cards, your help was greatly appreciated. Tracy and I would've gone insane trying to do it all ourselves!

In the end we raised $5,500 for the CT scanner fund! Thank you everyone for your support, and hopefully I'll see you on the trails soon!

Todd Hellinga