By Andrew Mitchell
The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment has booked two of the province’s top environmentalists for its December monthly meeting, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., at the Westin Resort and Spa.
The main speaker is Paul George, the founder of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee in 1980. He is also the author of Big Trees, Not Big Stumps, a compilation of 560 photos, stories, cartoons, and videos showing how the WCWC and its members have positioned themselves on the front lines of protecting old growth forests across the province.
Some of the WCWC campaigns have been successful, while others achieved a measure of compromise, or failed altogether. The list of successes includes the Carmanah Valley, Stein Valley, Sooke Hills, Burke Mountain, South Moresby, and, most visibly, Clayoquot Sound. They also helped to impose moratoriums on logging in several areas of the province, including the Elaho Valley outside of Squamish, by taking companies and the government to court on environmental grounds, sponsoring protests, and working with organizations like First Nations.
The WCWC is one of the largest environmental organizations in Canada with 25,000 members.
Adriane Carr — who stepped down as leader of the B.C. Green Party this month to become the deputy leader of the federal Green Party — will also speak. Carr, who is married to George, started to work for the WCWC in 1987 as part of the group’s management, fundraising, publication and campaign teams. She helped to broker the agreement between environmental groups, First Nations and the MacMillan Bloedel corporation that resolved the 17-year conflict over logging in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island.
Whistler Councillor Eckhard Zeidler will introduce the speakers, and provide an update on the state of wilderness conservation in the Sea to Sky corridor.
Both members and non-members of AWARE are welcome to attend the meeting.