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Cue the pros: When the fire department rolled up our 40-year-old cedar cabin was fully involved and nearby tree branches were starting to catch fire. To describe the speed, efficiency, and co-ordination I witnessed — I can only compare it to a playoff sports team or maybe Cirque du Soleil. Within minutes they were containing the fire and managed to save the main structure of our side, which is still surreal to me after seeing the speed and intensity with which the fire spread through the adjoining half. Whistler is extremely lucky to have people trained to this level in our town.
After this the list gets long. Each and every neighbour whether they were close friends or barely nodding acquaintances offered us a bed or any help they could. One friend closed his business to bring us warm jackets and many others brought us hot drinks and food. I still can't walk through town without offers of help. You often hear about how Whistler supports people in need, but when you experience how many people are willing to help first hand it takes on a whole new dimension.
I can't finish this letter without thanking our landlord Tony Simon who built the Doghouse himself 40 years ago and the dozens of friends/roommates I've had over the course of the past 16 years. Whistler is still a fun, cool, interesting place to live but now we're missing another focal point for those things.
We all live in wood houses but....
There's a belief among yogis that you need to be rooted down before you can rise up. So why is a tourist Mecca like Whistler logging its old growth trees?
The Cheakamus (Whistler) Community Forest (CCF) is a joint venture between the Lil'wat and Squamish First Nations and the RMOW, working alongside foresters. The CCF's 2011 earnings show that 38 hectares were cut, generating revenues of $60,000 and expenses of $37,500, for an income of just $22,500. So Whistler receives a mere $7,500 for all the permanent damage that was done?
Heck, we could hold a bake sale or a silent auction and raise more money to protect our trees!
The CCF's minutes state that: "Whistler area forests have moderate biodiversity values, but have HIGH value for tourism." How will Whistler's tourism be impacted when all our natural assets are removed? Is old-growth forest harvesting really compatible with Whistler 2020 or First Nation's cultural objectives?
In 2012, 25,000 cubic metres will be cleared, of which (up to 50) per cent will be old growth trees. The logging will become more apparent as loggers move from the hidden corners of the Callaghan to prominent areas like Emerald and Alpine Meadows.