Last Sunday, a group of roughly thirty Bowen Islanders gathered at Collins Hall to work on formulating an understanding of the legal parameters of a logging on Bowen, and to brainstorm tactics on how to stop it from happening. They formed a steering committee made up of people with various areas of expertise, and by mid-week had named the group, Defend Island Forests.
“We figure we need to get 1,000 people to the open house that BC Timber Supply is hosting next Sunday,” says organizer John Dowler. “But we also need to figure out what to do with them when they get there. I feel like we are organizing Woodstock at the same time as taking a legal course.”
This effort is just one of many initiatives that has emerged to combat potential logging on Bowen.
Julie Vik is printing anti-industrial logging shirts, and two petitions are being floated, and one has close to 2,000 signatures stating an opposition to logging on Bowen.
The Bowen Island Conservancy has created a set of talking points with facts and suggested actions. The information page states, “if we get to the point where logging is approved and we have to take drastic measures to try to prevent it, the proverbial horse is out of the barn. What we need to do is stop the initiative in its tracks. The only way to accomplish that is to have Bowen Island removed from the FSP (Forest Stewardship Plan), and then we won’t have to think about what comes next.”
Mayor Murray Skeels has also written a letter to Enrique Sanchez of BC Timber Sales (BCTS), stating that in disregarding council’s request for a reasonable consultation date, he is acting against the best interests of the people of Bowen Island. Further, Skeels requests that BCTS exclude Bowen from the current review and comment process, as well as the draft update of the next FSP (FSP 643).