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AWARE could fold this month

Environmental organization needs more people to run for its board



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Eventually the municipality took an interest in the recycling program and adopted it for themselves, allowing AWARE members to focus on issues such as protecting old-growth forests and wetlands.

In the early 1990s Whistler's economy was emerging from a lull period over the previous decade. It was a time when the organization was watching golf courses like Nicklaus North being proposed for areas close to wetlands in the valley bottom.

"The original concept plans had development right up to the edge of the River of Golden Dreams," Williamson said. "I would say that AWARE probably played a role in pushing that back and establishing the River of Golden Dreams conservation area."

In 2002, various groups asked to represent environmental interests for the provincial government's Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan, which would determine how Crown land in the region would be used for years to come.

In 2007 AWARE took a hard stance against a plan by Olympic organizers to build 25 kilometres of recreational trails near the Whistler Olympic Park, which would be close to a grizzly bear intersection between valleys. The trails were later approved.

More recently, AWARE has supported a campaign to reduce the distribution of plastic bags by Whistler businesses. The initiative, which has the support of at least one member of municipal staff, last saw the municipality hold an open house on March 26 in which 25 individuals and business owners provided input on whether they should be banned.

This isn't the first time that AWARE has come close to folding. In 1999 the organization was taking on a heavy volume of issues, leading to member burnout. Four residents, including now-Councillor Eckhard Zeidler, Brad Kasselman, Inge Flanagan and Mitch Rhodes showed up at the AGM and joined the board. The new board developed a strategy for the organization and helped promote the "Natural Step" framework that has guided much of the municipality's planning around sustainability.

In 2009 the organization celebrated its 20th anniversary with a talk by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Anyone interested in running for the board can contact AWARE at or call Sara Jennings at (604) 932-2664.



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