Monday, February 04, 2013

Poems! For the trees! Part three!

From Susan McCaslin, organizer of the Han Shan Poets project, which was part of an initiative to save McLellan Forest in Langley, BC from development :

"Dear Han Shan Poets:

Last night the Mayor and Council of the Township of Langley sent out a press release regarding their decision on the proposed sale of the forest known locally as McLellan Forest East in Glen Valley, Langley.  In short, the news is both good and bad, but we’re claiming it as a victory.

Photo courtesy McLellan Park Blog.
They’re not going to sell 3 of the lots in the parcel but are proceeding with the sale of 2 others in the same ecosystem. The parts they’ve decided to keep are nearer the roadway and full of older trees, but the ones they’re selling are closer to the river and quite ecologically rare and sensitive with many older trees as well.  In fact, the lands being sold may contain species at risk and endangered species.  So we will continue to argue that the baby shouldn’t be divided, but the sale could take place at any time and then parts of the forest will be in private hands.

We’re relieved that all the media attention paid off.  Had the Han Shan Poetry Project, Bateman visit, and other arts events not shown the Mayor and councillors how much the public cares, they would most certainly have sold off the entire area.  So I conclude that poetry matters as well as public outcry. People were deeply moved by your poems fluttering among the trees.

Tonight I’ll be meeting with the group called WOLF to discuss 'what next' for us as a group.  We’ll be in a state of blessed unrest until the forest is legally protected for future generations.  If they succeed in selling off parts of the land, we’re looking into having them place restrictive covenants on its use.  And we’re still trying to get other levels of government to intervene.

Thanks again for your beautiful poems and moral support.  It was great to see those of you who were able to visit McLellan Forest when the exhibit was still up.  We dismantled it on Jan. 22nd, as we felt the initiative had run its course and served its purpose.  It was never meant to permanent.

I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks again,


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