I realise the blog’s been a bit quiet lately. That’s because I’ve been writing letters. Okay. That’s a lie. I have been revising my novel. But I’m going to start writing letters.
My first letter will be to the people who own part of Mount Benson, the mountain that faces Nanaimo. The owners, Judith Pennyfeather and Peter Reeve, have refused to sell the property at its appraised value to a coalition who is attempting to save the forest. They have refused to negotiate, presumably because they want more money; money they can only get if the area is logged.
Here is a brief summary from the Nanaimo Area Land Trust newsletter on the situation:
Update About Mt. Benson Negotiations – And What You Can Do
In March the Coalition to Save Mount Benson made an offer to Judith Pennyfeather and Peter Reeve, owners of the 523-acre property at the top of the mountain, to purchase their land. A brief letter of reply from their lawyer indicated that negotiations had been called off because “the parties are too far apart”. In response, the Coalition sent an OPEN LETTER to the owners, with copies to local media and other parties, to summarize what has happened so far since our first communications in the summer of 2003.
Apart from an angry phone call from the Pennclan-Reeve lawyer, the open letter yielded no response. Since then, two subsequent letters have been sent directly to the owners, informing them of the Coalition’s recent efforts to gain additional funding support from the Province, and urging that they indicate some figure that they feel is a reasonable sale price for the property.
Thus far, there continues to be no response from Pennclan-Reeve. However, the Coalition will continue to meet with Mike Hunter, the RDN, and any other party that could help to bring the owners back to the table.
What To Do Next…
What you – and all of your friends and neighbours – can do is WRITE LETTERS! Letters to the candidates, to the media, to various government levels – even to the property owners. Letters, whether emails or the old-fashioned kind, are better than phone calls because they pile up and can be counted.
For more information on Mt. Benson and its importance click here: http://www.nalt.bc.ca
We have perhaps 4-6 weeks before logging will resume on the mountaintop. The following is a suggested list of people you can send it to:
NOTE: Whenever you send a letter consider sending copies to several people on this list, and remember to cc it to the local media.
Premier Gordon Campbell
Room 156, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Fax: 250 387-0087
Minister of Forests
PO Box 9049, STN PROV GOV
Victoria, BC V8W 8E2
Mike Hunter, MLA
Liberal Candidate for Nanaimo
106 – 335 Wesley Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2T5
Phone Nanaimo: 250-716-5266
Liberal Candidate for Nanaimo/Parksville
1615 Northfield Road, Nanaimo, V9S 3A8
Phone: 250-756-4800 email: email@example.com
Leonard E. Krog
NDP Candidate for Nanaimo
2120 Bay Street, Nanaimo, V9T -
Phone: 250-716-8755 (Constituency office)
NDP Candidate for Nanaimo/Parksville
4988 Lost Lake Rd, Nanaimo, V9T 5E4
Green Party Candidate for Nanaimo
PO Box 86 Station A, V9R 5K4
Jean Crowder, Federal MP for Nanaimo
Constituency Phone: 1-866-609-9998
Suite 101-126 Ingram St. Duncan, V9L 1P1
Joe Stanhope, RDN Chairman
Regional District of Nanaimo
6300 Hammond Bay Rd, Nanaimo V9T 6N2
Gary Korpan, Mayor: City of Nanaimo
455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J6
Nanaimo Daily News
Attention: Peter Godfrey – Letter to the Editor
B1, 2575 McCullough Road
Nanaimo BC V9S 5W5
The Nanaimo Bulletin
Attention: Roy Linder – Letter to the Editor
777B Poplar St., Nanaimo BC V9S 2H7
If you want to contact the owners, Judith Pennyfeather and Peter Reeve, you can call them at 1- 250-748-6218 or fax them at 1- 250-748-6219 and encourage them politely to negotiate. We want them to get a fair price for the land based on the survey. This situation can work out to everyone’s benefit, only if common sense prevails.
The second letter I’m going to write will be in support of saving East Creek, one of the last pieces of old growth forest on Vancouver Island. I totally encourage any of you who are interested in accumulated in good karma (and oxygen) to write a letter, send a cheque or just spread the word. The situation developing in East Creek is an honest-to-god tragedy.
To learn more about how you can save East Creek click here: http://www.saveeastcreek.com/