Friday, 28 December 2012

Forest on top of year's news

The Langley Advance Newspaper chose our work trying to save these valuable forests as the top news story of the year for 2012.

A link to this week's front page news story can be found at Forest fight headlined across Canada.

A link to their decision making process can be found at Forest on top of year's news.

Visit our Facebook page at SaveMcLellanPark to "Like" these stories as well as to share them with others.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

CHRISTMAS AND SONG IN THE FOREST

Come join us in celebrating

THE FIRST ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN MCLELLAN FOREST EAST!

Sunday Dec. 23 at 2 p.m.

Opus One Women’s Choir performing
Brenda Wilson, Artistic Director

Sing along
Bring the whole family

Meet at the Trailhead on 257A Street, just north of 84 Avenue in Glen Valley:


Refreshments: tea, coffee, cookies







Sponsored by WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

MONDAY NIGHT'S COUNCIL MEETING-VIDEO

Here is a link to Township of Langley website for those who want to see the delegations that were presented to Mayor and Council at the December 10 evening meeting.Follow these instructions to see the video.

Click on the link under Archived Council meetings.A pop up will appear inside your window.Click on December 10 on the calendar in the top right hand corner.Select evening meeting and the video should play. The delegations begin almost immediately.




Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Township of Langley agrees to defer sale to January 21st

Thank you for your support!



Council has deferred the sale and will revisit this issue at their January 21st, 2013 meeting.

We received the following email from Mayor Froese of the Township of Langley today...

Mr. Perry,

I'm sorry you had to hear second hand that the matter had been deferred until Jan 21 Or next full council meeting. As you know the contract with WOLF lapsed on Dec 7. With the subjects not removed and no new or revised contract negotiated with WOLF it is difficult to proceed with WOLF.

However, after hearing all of the delegations, Council decided that more time was needed to make a decision on the matter of the Glen Valley lands.

I trust this helps to answer any questions you have.

Regards,

Mayor Froese

WOLF would like to thank all those that have publicly supported the preservation of these properties. The Directors of WOLF will meet soon to discuss future plans. Please stay tuned as your continued support and assistance will be required.

Thank you again!
WOLF

Sunday, 9 December 2012

SOME LINKS

Here is a link to the interview that I did on CBC Radio's "On the Coast" last Wednesday.  The interview starts at about the 31 minute mark. It is followed by an interview with Councillor Charlie Fox.

The most important thing about these dual interviews may be  the statement by Charlie Fox that the connection between the sale of the forest and the purchase of the site in Aldergrove to build a rec center has been done away with by the Township Council. I have not yet heard any confirmation of this. This is a promising development since the de-linking of  these issues is not only the right thing to do but also removes as far as WOLF can see any practical need to rush the sale of the forest. WOLF would appreciate clarity on this matter.

Here is another link to a piece at the Tyee website  this weekend profiling the Han Shan project.

Remember that your attendance at the Township Council evening meeting tomorrow is greatly needed. I hope you can make it.(See the newsletter in the link)

-Kirk Robetson
Vice Chair
WOLF

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

WHAT THE LAW ALLOWS

This is a lot with RU-3 zoning in Langley Township. The very same zoning as the Mclellan Park East Forest. It demonstrates why we are concerned.  Trees populated this lot until just a few years ago. If this land clearing is allowable use within the zoning, then any suggestion that the lots will be used for “country estates” and that the “Tree Protection Bylaw” will protect the forest are unfounded or speculative.  In a Globe and Mail story today Mayor Froese indicated that “developers have already made offers for the forest land, so councillors know it can be sold quickly.”   The forest should remain in public hands for the benefit and enjoyment of Langley residents and the wildlife that depend upon it.
 

RADIO TALKBACK

WOLF Vice Chair Kirk Robertson was just on CBC Radio One  program  "On the Coast" with Stephen Quinn . "On the Coast"'s talkback number is 604-662-6979. Let them know what you think,

GLOBE AND MAIL STORY

Mark Hume at the Globe and Mail profiled the Han Shan poetry project in today's paper.

GLOBE AND MAIL:TOP 10 PICS OF THE LAST 24 HRS

Check out photo 8 from the Globe and Mail top ten pictures of the last 24 hrs.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

ANOTHER GLOBAL LINK

If you are having trouble accessing the Global Video of the Robert Bateman visit to Mclellan Park East last week here is a link to a story with attached video that might work.

Monday, 3 December 2012

LANGLEY TIMES COVERS ROBERT BATEMAN VISIT

http://www.langleytimes.com/news/181876051.html

BECOME PART OF THE WOLF PACK

If you would like to become a member of Watchers of Langley Forests print out  this  membership form  and send it to the mailing address given on the form along with your ten dollar membership fee.

MCLELLAN PARK VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE

Save Mclellan Park 
Stuart Bucholtz talks about the ecological functions of the forest
Save Langley's Mclellan Park
Tim and Thilo from B.E.A.R. perform for Langley Fine Arts students November 15.
Save Mclellan Park -The Children Speak
Save Mclellan Park - The Women Speak 
Gail Chaddock Costello Speaks at Art in the Park Event
Wilderness Committee On the Ground Report
Featuring speeches and performances at Art in the Park event
Joe Foy speech in it's entirety
Also featuring speech from Gail Chaddock-Costello and a letter from Shane Dyson is read out.
Remarks by David Jordan . Scott Perry,and Mark Haddock,and Susan McCaslin.
Leonard Howell on Mclellan Park
Also featuring Hilary Ruffini and Mark Haddock



HAN SHAN POETRY PROJECT

The Han Shan Poetry Project:  McLellan Park Forest East

You are cordially invited to visit a site specific installation of tree poems on Saturday, December 8 from 1-3 pm.  This is one of a series of arts initiatives to raise awareness of the McLellan Forest East, on 257A Street just north of 84 Avenue.

Poets across Canada, including quite a few Governor General’s Award winners, responded to a call from Langley poet Susan McCaslin to submit poems celebrating trees in an effort to protect a unique forest just outside the heritage community of Fort Langley, British Columbia. 

More than one hundred and fifty poems were submitted over a five day period from established and emerging poets of all ages, and are now suspended from the trees in the hope that the voices of poets will be considered when Langley council decides the fate of the forest on December 17, 2012.

The installation was inspired by Han Shan, a Chinese hermit poet from the Tang Dynasty era over 1,000 years ago, who wrote poems on trees and rocks, living respectfully with nature. 

The forest display includes poems by Governor General’s Award winners E. D. Blodgett, David Zieroth, Don Domanski, Stephanie Bolster, Don McKay, Joy Kogawa (The Order of Canada), Anne Simpson (Griffin Poetry Prize), and a diversity of established, emerging, and beginning writers.  Poems have been received from Oregon, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Australia, the UK, and Turkey and continue to flood in.

The land in question, known locally as McLellan Park Forest East, is publicly owned by Langley township but is slated to be sold off to partially fund a recreation centre and pool if a small group of residents called WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests) cannot come up with 3 million dollars by December 17.  It has been difficult for WOLF to raise the funds because supporters feel the forest is already owned by the public and that Langley should just reconsider selling it.  The total cost of the recreation centre is estimated at $35 million.
McCaslin says, “These poems express how poets respond to the creative outpouring of nature that encompasses and sustains us.  It’s about putting human language beside the larger language of nature and the planet. They have been offered specifically for the protection of this remarkable, biologically diverse forest. ”
The name Han Shan translates as “Cold Mountain,” which is also the area in the district of T'ien-t'ai in China where the poet lived.  Han Shan was the inspiration for the Cold Mountain School of west coast beatnik writers, such as Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac. 

McLellan Forest is a small fragment of what once existed throughout the Fraser Valley before over a century of settlement.  Very little of this ecosystem has been protected in its natural state.

A provincial biologist has notified Langley council that the property in question is “ecologically unique,” features “high biodiversity value” and has exceptional value as habitat for species at risk, such as the Pacific water shrew and Oregon spotted frog. 

Guided walks are led by WOLF every Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm.

Location:

Further information about the forest may be found at:
http://mclellanpark.blogspot.ca/

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AT WATERSHED CAFE


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Robert Batement Urges Preservation of Forest



See media reports of his visit at the following locations...
Langley Advance
http://www.langleyadvance.com/news/Robert+Bateman+visits+disputed+forest/7634556/story.html

Global TV
http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/fight+to+save+langley+forest/video.html?v=2311702713&p=2&s=dd#video

Also, see the latest article in Saturday's Vancouver Sun
http://www.vancouversun.com/Save+ecologically+unique+forest+Langley+urged/7636559/story.html

This post was included in our first Email Newsletter. This is a great way to ensure that you are provided with up to date information on upcoming events. You can subscribe on our Home Page or at Subscribe to WOLF Newsletter .

Dear Friend of WOLF:

We are writing to update you about Watchers of Langley Forest’s fight to save the McLellan Park forest in Glen Valley. If you are receiving this email you have signed a petition, visited our website, taken a tour of the forest or requested a member of WOLF to keep you informed.

On behalf of WOLF we would like to thank you for your continuing support and hope that we can count on you to do the following:

Attend a Township Council Meeting
On Monday, December 10th,
Langley Township Council will be meeting at 7pm in the Fraser River Presentation Theatre Civic Facility, located at the 4th Floor, 20338 – 65 Avenue, Langley.

WOLF delegations will be made to Council regarding this very important issue. Your presence in numbers would send a strong message to Council that many in the community support the protection and conservation of this property in perpetuity.

Write a Letter.
Send an email to Mayor and Council requesting that they not sell the property. You can find contact information at this link: http://mclellanpark.blogspot.ca/2012/09/contact-info-for-mayor-and-council.html

Visit us and show your support
If you would like to know more please visit http://mclellanpark.blogspot.ca/ or like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaveMcLellanPark You can also tweet your comments at https://twitter.com/WOLangleyForest or recommend our YouTube videos at
http://tinyurl.com/c8oa6u3

Take a tour
If you have been unable to visit or would like to come again tours will continue every Saturday and Sunday in December at 2pm. Please look for more information at http://mclellanpark.blogspot.ca/2012/10/of-public-will-have-opportunity-this.html or click here for a Google map http://tinyurl.com/cs28v6m.


Regards,
Your Directors of the Watchers of Langley Forests Society (WOLF)
Kirk Robertson, Vice Chairperson
Petrina Arnason
Ellen Klemm
Glenn Howes, Treasurer
Scott Perry, Chairperson
Hilary Ruffini, Secretary
Stuart Bucholtz

Friday, 30 November 2012

Facebook and Twitter

Welcome Global and CTV viewers as well as those who have been here before.
Just a reminder that we are on facebook
or you can follow us on twitter  here
Click on the link to see a photo album of the forest.

SEE THE FOREST YOURSELF

Come see for yourself  the forest that Robert Bateman just visited and says is worthy of preservation. Tours for the public are offered at 2 pm every Saturday and Sunday or you can come on your own.

Go here for information on how to find the forest.

ROBERT MCLELLAN BATEMAN VISITS FOREST

Painter Robert Bateman visited the Mclellan East Forest today and yesterday and called on the Mayor and Council to preserve them.See Langley Advance story 
Global and CTV News both had news crews out today and a story should appear on each of their channels evening newscasts. See  Global News reporter Linda Aylesworth twitter page.
 


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

POET TALKS ABOUT HER LOVE OF FOREST

Friend of McLellan Forest Susan McCaslin is interviewed in Douglas College student newspaper. Read it here.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

ICYMI

In case you missed it the first time here is another way to watch the video Joe Foy made of the arts event on October 28,2012.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Save McLellan Forest by Olga Khodyreva




On October 28th I was fortunate to attend a beautiful event in Langley's McLellan Forest.
As a person of environmental awareness, I am deeply concerned with the possibililty of this important natural habitiat being destroyed.
My thoughts and emotions are reflected in this drawing.

My regards,

Olga Khodyreva
Artist
The Fort Gallery

Monday, 19 November 2012

A SUITE FOR ENDANGERED TREES

 A Suite for Endangered Trees in McLellan Forest East, Glen Valley, Langley, BC

by Susan McCaslin

Dear Black Cottonwood
“I stood still and was a tree amid the wood.…”
Ezra Pound

Your saffron leaves unselve us
hollowed trunk a doorway
summoned from forest floor

Melded branches winding
whispered texts entangled
torqued to speechless autumn skies

flaming torsos rising
mottled leaves dropping
honed to shape of tears

What would take you out,
hang for sale signs by the roadway
all in the name of development

de-creating where children
breath in the moist greening
courtship cries of wild barred owls?



Dear Lovers’ Tree

I fell in love with a forest
and became an activist

but first there was you
one, no, two, two cedars twinned

around the heartwood of a tree husk
a realm—two torsos attuned

stretched limb to limb
two root systems’ wet entangling

two of you ascending
splitting, reuniting

like Plato’s round being
against the gods of progress

There are those who would chainsaw
your wide open hearts

and, yes, you pant toward union
under the sky canopy

bride-ing the soar of day
palm to palm like holy Palmers kiss

blessed jointure each to each
pressed each into the other’s ahhhh

So, silenced at your mossed knees
I surrender all

to the forest which makes and remakes
your lust and breath

your aching stately pavane

*The pavane, pavan, paven, pavin, pavian, pavine, or pavyn (It. pavana, padovana; Ger. Paduana) is a slow processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century (Renaissance). 



Dear Christ Cedar

You among emerald drapery
from your wind-
stormed outpost

plank and plane
vertical-horizontal world pivot
sprung from coastal seed

humming core
flaking bark
woodpecker’s grail

growing a wilder carpentry
taller masonry
more commodious poem

Be in us the world’s resinous heart
hung in a spackled sky—
forest green

hoist and balance
equipoise and reach
sylvan singer song


Dear McLellan Forest

(for the students of the Langley School of Fine Arts who came on Nov. 15, 2012 to
experience McLellan Forest)

For the graced and gravitied trees
lolling by the Fraser, this green hymn

Hildegard’s viriditas,
greening power, stemming from the woods

Green man, green woman, green child
mossed and tossed from green

for the unabashed tree huggers
who know it takes a village to save a forest

for Hopkins’ Binsey Poplars
hacked and hewn

for the tall earth-honouring dream
and the dropping, dripping boughs

for the squadron of teens
streaming steadily from yellow buses

into the sacred space to stand
among maidenhair ferns

with serenades for the mushroom stairway
climbing Cottonwood’s hollowed heart

for the auric fairy rings still visible
to un-inventoried eyes

for the Councillors who would barter heritage
for a recreation centre elsewhere

a deeper council, wisdom works,
a pealed appeal rising

Land appellants come
singing for hemlock and cedar—

those who long to be re-created
by mother world, held in green veils

chanting green

*viriditas: a term the German mystic Hildegard of Bingen used for the greening force in
nature




Saturday, 17 November 2012

TOURS OF THE FOREST

Hello.

This is a reminder that every weekend I give tours of the McLellan Park East Forest every Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. I hope you can make it this weekend.  Here is a link to a Google Maps page to help you get there.  Here is the Photo Album to encourage you to see the forest in person.
 
If you are coming from the freeway or Aldergrove take 264th until you get to 84th Avenue. Turn left and keep going until you get to 257A Street.Then turn right on to 257A and keep going until you get to the trailhead. Your alternate route is to come from Fort Langley along River Road. Take River Road til it becomes 88th Ave. Turn right onto 252nd Street. Proceed down 252nd until you get to  84th Ave.Turn left on to  84th until you get to 257A Street. Then turn left.  I will be there to greet you at or near the trailhead.
-Kirk Robertson
Tour Guide

JOINT TOWN HALL MEETING

 If you are in Aldergrove today  (Saturday November 17) you might want to attend the Joint Town Halll style forum that  is being held at the  Kinsman Center  between 1-3 pm. The address is 26770 29 Ave. The two Langley Mayors,the School Board Chair and federal MP Mark Warawa will be in attendance. The public will be able to submit written questions. If you are unable to attend in person you can also ask questions via Twitter by tweeting @Mayor Froese, @MPmarkwarawa, or @LangleySchools, using hashtag #asktol.

You could ask the Mayor Froese
1)Why Langley residents have to privately pay for their natural heritage while their modern amenities are paid for with tax dollars?
2)Will the conifer forest or McLellan Park West be protected by designating it as set aside for conservation purposes?

Or you could ask Mark Warawa
What ways the Federal Government can help the Township, the Province ,and WOLF protect the Mclellan Park East  Forest?











Friday, 16 November 2012

FUNDRAISING TOTAL

We are currently at $2600. The time frame is very tight people. We need to raise three million dollars in a month. That deadline may be unreasonable but it is what it is. Go here to find out how you can pledge.

SYLVIA OATES

The below text is taken from a Press Release issued by WOLF on November 15.

Watchers of Langley Forests is pleased to announce that artist Sylvia Oates will donate
twenty percent of the sales proceeds from two of her new paintings towards the purchase
of the McLellan Park East Forest. The public will get a chance to see the works of art
during the Eastside Culture Crawl. http://eastsideculturecrawl.com/

Sylvia Oates is a painter who who draws her inspiration from the beauty of our west coast
environmSylvia Oent. The paintings were inspired by a visit Sylvia Oates made to the
forest on October 20. Her connection to nature is longstanding.Her formative years were
spent in the Willoughby area of Langley Township. “My happiest hours were spent in the
bush at the edge of our farm” she said of her childhood in a letter to the editor.Sylvia Oates is
now based in Vancouver with her studio in East Vancouver. She works in acrylics and oils
and occasionally mixed media. Her website is http://www.sylviaoates.ca/Sylvia_Oates/Home.html.  The paintings will be displayed in her studio during the Eastside Culture Crawl running from November 16 to November 18.

The McLellan Park East Forest is one of two municipally owned forest stands in the Glen
Valley area of Langley Township. It is twenty five acres in size. Together with Mclelan
Park West it constitutes the last significant forested block in Glen Valley. Both McLellan
Park parcels were originally put up for auction earlier this year but after a public outcry
the municipality withdrew the western parcel from the market.

The McLellan Park East Forest is of the dwindling Coastal Western Hemlock ecological
community. It is a mature second growth forest. Of the two CWH types prevalent in the
forest one one is endangered and the other is destined to be endangered if circumstances
continue as they are. Two wetlands add to the overall biodiversity.
The Township has owned the land for over eighty years and left it relatively untouched.
The only evidence of logging is from pioneer times. Some trees may be up to 240 yrs old.
The money from the sale of the lands is to go to the purchase of a site on which to build a
recreational centre in the community of Aldergrove.
Watchers of Langley Forest is a group of Langley citizens who came together to fight for
the conservation of both forests. Since late July 2012 WOLF has been waging a public
awareness campaign to make the public aware of this ecological rarity. WOLF and the
Township of Langley have signed a contract that gives WOLF a narrow time frame
to raise three million dollars to buy the property from the Township.The deadline is
December 17.

WOLF would like to thank Sylvia Oates for her generosity and support.

THE WOMEN SPEAK

Here you go

Thursday, 15 November 2012

LFAS STUDENTS IN THE FOREST

I just wanted to make a quick note about the student's event in the forest today. I know I had a great time and I hope everybody else did too. Thank you to Silvia Knittel and Donna Usher for making this happen.

I would also like to thank all the other teachers who came out and of course the students who were interested and excited to spend time in the outdoors. I wish there were more people on hand to hear the singing in the forest. I am afraid I didn't get the names of the individual performers but everybody was excellent.
Thanks to all the WOLF people who were on hand as well.
and a Thank you to B.E.A. R
If there is anybody reading this from the student body I hope that this blog proves useful. 
-Kirk Robertson
Vice Chair
WOLF
PS I hope that everybody takes to heart the words of Stuart Bucholtz
"Don't assume someone else is doing it"

PLEDGE DRIVE UPDATE AND CHALLENGE

 Last night WOLF challenged friends of the forest to reach the $2000 mark by 10:00 pm tonight in our pledge drive to raise three million dollars to buy the McLellan Park East Forest from the Township of Langley.It is a pleasure to announce that we have already reached that target. We have pledges for a combined total of $2600. Let's try to get it to $3000 by ten o'clock tonight.

THE CHILDREN SPEAK

This video was taken on a very rainy Sunday in October.The first big rain of the season. It was the same day as the first video with Leonard Howell. Thanks to Scott Paton for filming.editing and placing on Youtube.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

FUNDRAISING

WOLF has begun a pledge drive to raise money for the purchase of McLellan Park. We are also exploring partnerships with conservancy groups and others. For now we just need your pledge. No collection of money will occur until we have reached our fundraising target.

See below to read a message from WOLF Chair Scott Perry on how to make your pledge. So far we are at $600. Lets see if we can get that number up to 2000 dollars by 10 pm tomorrow.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

http://mclellanpark.blogspot.ca/p/join.html

LEONARD HOWELL ON MCLELLAN PARK

This is in case you missed this the first time we posted it.
WATCH THE VIDEO

SLIGHT CHANGE OF SCHEDULE

There has been a slight revision in the schedule for the Fine Arts Event is the forest tomorrow.The new times are as such.
 Thursday, November 15th Schedule-
1:30 students arrive in buses
2:15 or so Introductions of the forest by Kirk Robertson and Susan McCaslin
2:30 Student performances and presentations. (Singing, poetry, a youth choir etc.)
3:00 Student tours of forest
3:30 Students return to LFAS

I hope you can make it.
-Kirk Robertson 
 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

VIDEO BY JOE FOY

On Sunday October 28 Joe Foy, national campaign director of the Wilderness Committee spoke at the Art in the Park event. Joe brought a video camera and taped the event. He has prepared a video of excerpts. You can find it at the Wilderness Committee site. Welcome to everbody who has come from there.

The Mclellan Park East site is a twenty five acre forest stand in the Glen Valley area of Langley Township. It is just minutes away from historic Fort Langley. It is a Coastal Western Hemlock forest. Two types of CWH are present. Two wetlands help round out the biodiversity. You can read about it here in the Henderson and Ryder report. You can read about the circumstances of the Henderson and Ryder report and a summary  in this post.



If you want to pledge money for the purchase of McLellan Park East Forest go here
If you want to join WOLF or help out send an email to savemclellanpark@gmail.com Address it to Kirk Robertson.
If you would like to see pictures of the forest go here.
and if you would like to visit personally tours are available every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. 
You can also like us on Facebook 
or follow us on Twitter

Saturday, 10 November 2012

HEIDI GRECO POEMS

Heidi Greco sent the blog the text of two poems that she read out at the Art in the Park event on October 28.Here they are. The first is untitled. The second is entitled "Beatitudes" You can read Heidi Greco's thoughts about the forest and the arts event here.
-Kirk Robertson


 Begin
with a single tree
alone in a grassy field.

Observe
the obstinate way its trunk
wrenches ever upward, sustained
by the very earth it pulls itself from.

Notice
the shape of its myriad branches
spreading out and open
like a waiting hand to cup the rain.

Consider
the line of its stance
how it reaches for the light
the ways it bends around itself, stretching into breeze.

Contemplate
the many years the tree has resided here
the many dried-up summers it has endured
the winter nights it’s stood its ground
against the cold, in solitude.

Listen
to its branches, their tips so fine in green,
those many sibilant fingers, rubbing amongst themselves
a mystery of whisperings to the sky.

As a single tree can be admired,
a forest is to respect. So much more
than the sum of its trees, it lives
and breathes, holds the soil in its grasp
enmeshed in a handshake of intertwined roots.

It is essential, the same way
we must hold one another,
lean toward the lee, away from the wind.
 -- excerpted from a longer work commissioned by the City of Surrey for National Poetry Month, 2012






Beatitudes for the 21st century
(based on the Gospel of Matthew, 5: 3-10)

Blessed are the downtrodden,
for they shall be looked up to.

Blessed are the atheists,
for they shall be proven correct.

Blessed are the recyclers,
for their spirits shall dwell in trees.

Blessed are those who challenge the courts and question the greedy,
for they shall be affirmed.

Blessed are the orangutans, whose intelligence shall be acknowledged;
the horses, who shall rise in the sky, flying as they were intended;
the tortoises, who will be assigned more spacious dwellings.

Blessed are the sweet-natured,
for they shall come back as bees.

Blessed are the homeless, the addicted, the unemployed,
for they shall be granted holiday pay and ensconced amongst stars.

Blessed are those worn down by the blights of daily life,
for they shall be released to ride galaxies of light.



-- first published in Igniting the Green Fuse: Four Canadian Women Poets, a chapbook published by Above & Beyond Productions, 2012


 
 

 


Thursday, 8 November 2012

LANGLEY FINE ARTS SCHOOL EVENT IN FOREST

You are cordially invited to attend a celebration of a rare mature forest in Glen Valley, Langley organized by students and faculty from The Langley School of Fine Arts. Students will be sharing their various art forms in the forest and there will be a choir. The event is open to the public. The event takes place on Thurs. Nov. 15, 2-3:30 pm.

On Thursday, November 15th, several senior classes from LFAS are heading to McLellan forest to view, perform, photograph, write, draw, sing, dance... to honor and experience a local space that is on the development block. This collaborative arts sharing in the forest has never happened before, and we hope that it will be a magical experience. Local and nationwide press will be there covering the event as well. The students are being educated in advance about the political and economical concerns surrounding the forest and will be encouraged to develop their own opinions.



McLellan Forest is a 25 acre parcel that is for sale by the Township. It is a mixed conifer/deciduous forest with different types of habitat. There is extensive vegetation on the forest floor, various tree types and over 100 species of birds and animals that have been observed by naturalists. Some of the trees may be as old as 240 years. One area may have been marsh/bog in the nineteenth century and very likely has never been logged. Another area contains some stumps with evidence of pioneer logging. The thick vegetation makes this forest appear larger than its 25 acres.



Visit the photo album of the Forest.
Thursday, November 15th Schedule-

 
Thursday, November 15th Schedule-
1:30 students arrive in buses
2:15 or so Introductions of the forest by Kirk Robertson and Susan McCaslin
2:30 Student performances and presentations. (Singing, poetry, a youth choir etc.)
3:00 Student tours of forest
3:30 Students return to LFAS
UPDATE: The above schedule now reflects the correct times  



Bring good hiking boots, possible rain gear.



Directions: If coming from Fort Langley follow River Road east, make a right at 256th Street, then make a left on to 84th Ave. 257th Street is on the left-hand side. If coming from Aldergrove go north on 264th Street, make a left on to 84th Ave, 257th street is on the the right-hand side



Email to savemclellanpark@gmail.com for more questions. Address correspondence to Kirk Robertson.

BLOGGERS NOTE: I want to emphasize that this is not a WOLF event. It is being organized by teachers and students at Langley Fine Arts School. This is their opportunity to learn about the forest and the controversy around it. Mayor Froese and Councillor Fox had an opportunity to speak on behalf of the Township to students at LFAS yesterday (Wednesday November 7) Mark Haddock spoke briefly in a personal capacity in favour of conserving the forest. I am told that he will have a chance to speak to student again as the Mayor and Councillor Fox had more time allloted to them.
                                                                                                                                                                        
Any questions that I receive I will be happy to anwer if I know the answer. With regard to this event if I do not know I will refer to the organizers. As it says above this event is open to the public I hope you can make it,
-Kirk Robertson







Wednesday, 7 November 2012

WOLF Society Formation Update



Hello everyone, we have made progress recently on the formation of WOLF as a registered Society...
 
A Board of Directors and Society Officers have been elected. Society Bylaws and Constitution have been created. Application has been made to the BC Registry Services in order to Register Watchers of Langley Forests Society as a non-profit society. Once registration has been complete we will be apply to CRA for Charitable status and will then be able to issue receipts elegible for tax deduction.

 The Board of Directors would like to thank all of you who have continued to support our objective of preserving the forests of Langley. To ensure the permanent preservation of both McLellan Park East and McLellan Park West it will take further action and commitment from a wide range of supporters. To this end we intend to be able to accept online Society memberships and donations. We are also planning a McLellan Park Fundraising Pledge Drive, asking for support from private individuals, businesses and institutions to financially commit to make this goal a reality. Finally, we will be enlisting your assistance as volunteers as well as providing examples of how you can help us to preserve this living heritage.
 
If you, or anyone you know, would like to become a member of WOLF,  make a contribution, volunteer your time and energy or would like further information please feel free to contact us at savemclellanpark@gmail.com.
 
Sincerely, 
Watchers of Langley Forests Society

    

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

RARE VIEW INSIDE TREE

This is the opening to the giant centuries old cottonwood in the McLellan Park East Forest. You may have read about it Kent Spencer's story  in the Province on Monday


The tree is hollow inside at the base allowing people to climb inside. This is what that looks like from the outside.


But not many people know what it looks like inside the tree. Someone sent me this  picture Sunday night.

  The Old Man of the Forest grows mushrooms. Well taking up gardening when you get older is rather common.
-Kirk Robertson

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

INDEPENEDENT ECOLOGICAL REPORT CONFIRMS IMPORTANCE OF MCLELLAN PARK FOREST


Page 5: 
The drier forests of Lots 13, 16 and a portion of 12 are the CWHxm1/07 (Western Redcedar/Three-leaved Foamflower) ecological community which is Red-listed (threatened or
endangered) and S2 (provincially imperiled). If the threats to this community are not removed across its range, it will likely become extirpated or extinct within the CWHxm1.

Page 7: 

This collective of natural features is the last refuge for animals and plants that occupy and define the ecological communities once common in the area.

The veteran Black Cottonwood at the southeast corner of Lot 12 (Figure 1), with a dbh of approximately 1.75 m (estimated, not measured), is one of the largest in the Township of Langley.

The liverwort Riccardia multifida occurs on rotting logs and mud in some of the same areas as Hookeria lucens. It is typical of humid forests of the lowlands. Neither species has been
observed previously in Langley by the authors. These organisms and the communities that
comprise the remnant natural features are important biological legacies that will eventually be lost from Langley and the lower mainland unless relatively large natural areas are retained. 


On September 20 environmental consultant Phil Henderson and  naturalist Glenn Ryder visited the Mclellan Park East forest. The observations that they they made became the basis of a report that they presented to Township of Langley and Watchers of Langley Forests by email on Thursday October 18.
In the report Henderson and Ryder detail the varying ecology of the forest.



In the accompanying email Phil Henderson said;
Glenn Ryder, renowned naturalist, and I visited the properties that are subject to sale north of and adjacent to Gray Pit on September 20, 2012. During our visit we recorded information on plants, animals and ecology and we present that information in the attached report. Our intention, as outlined in the Introduction section of the report, is to provide some objective information that will hopefully inform decisions regarding the future of this land. Our primary targets for this report were WOLF and the Township of Langley, but the report can be freely distributed. We hope it proves useful.
                      

The introduction reads 

 Introduction

The Township of Langley (TOL) solicited “requests for offers” for the purchase of three
contiguous forested properties adjacent to 252nd St. and 84th Ave. and five contiguous 5 acre
(ac.) properties east of 257A St. and north of Gray Pit in northeast Langley (TOL RFO 12-1). The
deadline for submissions was June 29, 2012. Local residents and concerned citizens who
opposed the sale based on the properties’ ecological and cultural values, banded together
under the acronym WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests) to protest their sale. In response to
their protestations and those of others, the Township rescinded the sale of the three properties
adjacent to 252th St. but not the five properties adjacent to Gray Pit (Table 1, Figure 1). The five
remaining properties adjacent to Gray Pit are the subject of continued efforts by WOLF to stop
their sale.

Glenn Ryder provided significant historical wildlife data from 1955 (Ryder 1955) for WOLF that
covered the three western properties and extended eastward to 256th St. While those data
provide important information for the general area and are an excellent account of wildlife
present before extensive development in the area, they do not specifically address the five
parcels that remain for sale. Strix Environmental Consulting’s reports on Gray Pit (Strix 1999
and 2000) provide limited information because they focussed on the Gray Pit extraction area
and small sections of the south forest edge.

In an effort to provide recent information specific to the subject properties, Phil Henderson and
Glenn Ryder conducted a brief survey on September 20, 2012 of the lots referred to in TOL’s
ROF 12-1, namely Lots 12-16, DL 320 GP2 NWD Plan 1560. Henderson and Ryder’s intentions
were to “determine its existing conditions” as outlined under Examination of the Site in TOL’s
RFO 12-1 and provide objective, up to date information on plants, animals and ecology for all
interested parties, notably WOLF and the Township of Langley. This information is intended to
inform decisions regarding the future of the properties.



  It is important  to stress the Phil Henderson and Glenn Ryder undertook this project at their own initiative at on their own time. WOLF and the Township were not apprised of their activities until the week the report was released. Their combined expertise is truly impressive.Phil Henderson is a well respected environmental consultant who has conducted work for the Township. Glenn Ryder is naturalis who began field research over fifty years ago.


This study backs up WOLF's contention that this forest has important ecological characteristics and values. . Our  view has been strengthened that the forest  is an important example of biodiversity in the Township.
We remain committed to it's preservation. WOLfF hopes that the Mayor and Council factor the report into their decision making.


If you would like to read the whole report go here                                                                                                                           
 

Friday, 19 October 2012

AFTERNOON OF ART AND ACTION


Afternoon of Art & Action in Glen Valley, Langley
On Sunday Oct. 28 from 1-3 p.m., you are cordially invited to join a group of artists (visual artists, writers, photographers, etc.) who will be assembling to witness and raise awareness about a spectacular 25 acre forest in Glen Valley, just east of Fort Langley.

Five forested lots have been put up for sale by the Township of Langley – it has been listed as a “heavilytreed, blank canvas”. Not many people know about the beauty and ecological value of this biologically diverse and mature forest, and there is little time to make Langley residents aware of what will be lost if the property is sold.  The Township may be willing to sell it to a local society if the small group can raise $3 million in a very small window of time.

Saving this forest ecosystem will provide a lasting legacy, not only to our children, but our children’s and perhaps countless generations.  Artists can play an important role in building public appreciation and awareness.

Bring your art supplies, writing pads, cameras and take a tour through the area.  Hot tea and cookies will be provided.  Bring an umbrella if it’s raining under the glorious canopy.   

We will meet at the trail entrance on 257A Street, just north of the intersection with 84th Avenue.  Click here for a Google Maps link that will help you identify how to get to the site.  It is just east of Fort Langley, and not far from the Fort Winery.

For more about this even information contact poet Susan McCaslin at smccaslin@shaw.ca



 



WHY THE FOREST MATTERS :THE VIDEO

Last Sunday a group of concerned citizens gathered in the Eastern Mclellan Forest on one of the wettest rainiest days in a long time to explain why the forest matters to them and should matter to all of us. This is the first of two videos.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

FOREST TOURS THIS FALL

 Members of the public will have an opportunity this fall to attend organized tours of the Mclellan Park East Forest in Glen Valley just minutes away from Fort Langley. Every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm half hour tours will be offered by Watchers of Langley Forests(WOLF) They will start out from a trailhead  on 257a street. Come visit the forest that Professor David Jordan of Trinity Western describes as being of "regional ecological significance".
This is a 25 acre parcel that is for sale by the  Township. It is a mixed conifer/deciduous forest with different types of habitat. There is extensive vegetation on the forest floor, various tree types and over 100 species of birds and animals that have been observed by naturalists. Some of the trees may be as old as 240 years. One area may have been marsh/bog in the nineteenth century and very likely has never been logged. Another area  contains some stumps with evidence of pioneer logging. The thick vegetation makes this forest appear larger than its 25 acres.
Visit the photo album of the Forest.
WOLF are a group of Langley residents who have come together in support of conserving this forest. This tour is part of their public awareness campaign.
No appointment is necessary but an email to savemclellanpark@gmail.com letting WOLF  know you are coming would be appreciated. Address it to Kirk Robertson

 


Date: Every Saturday and Sunday this fall!
Place: Forest in the Glen Valley area of Langley Township
Time: Two pm both Saturday and Sunday
Bring: Good hiking boots, moderate exercise tolerance
Directions:If coming from Fort Langley follow River Road east, make a right at 256th Street, then make a left on to 84th Ave. 257th Street is on the left-hand side. If coming from Aldergrove go north on 264th Street, make a left on to 84th Ave, 257th street is on the the right-hand side


OCTOBER 12 PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests) is a public interest and advocacy group that coalesced around the proposed sale of Glen Valley forested properties commonly known as McLellan Park.  WOLF was initially challenged by Mayor and Council to raise the funds necessary to purchase the former Aldergrove School site when the westerly properties were taken off the market this summer.  As of October 1st, 2012, WOLF has been apprised of Township of Langley’s position regarding our earlier proposal to facilitate the purchase of the easterly forested lands adjacent Gray Pit.  WOLF is pleased to have the opportunity to work along with Council and staff in order to ensure that these rare and environmentally sensitive lands are protected for future generations to appreciate while continuing the protection these forests provide as diverse wildlife habitat and benefits to the local aquifer.  

As outlined in a variety of submissions to Council, these properties contain both mixed and coniferous forests estimated to be approximately 100 – 240 years or more which contain rich wildlife habitat and watercourses.  They were identified as extremely environmentally sensitive in the Westwater Research Report commissioned by the Township of Langley in 1993.  This report clearly recommends management guidelines to restrict residential development requiring septic disposal systems in order to protect groundwater quality and to support groundwater recharge.  This report further advised that the existing forest vegetation be maintained and protected.  The subsequent O’Connor engineering report commissioned by the Township in 2005 addressed issues such as the property’s environmental value, groundwater protection, protection of fishery habitat and the watershed, sensitive wildlife species, as well as other site specific environmental values.  And finally, Professor David Jordan expressed his views on the subject in his role as an Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Trinity Western University by stating:
…“In my professional opinion, the Land Sales properties are of regional ecological significance because of the complex forest structure, mixture of tree species and significant biodiversity all contained in a spatially compact area.”…

WOLF was encouraged by early and growing local and regional support to address this challenge by seeking economic partnerships in support of  protecting and conserving these rare forested properties in their existing natural state, with low impact trails for continued habitat protection and enhancing education and enjoyment opportunities as a  “nature park in perpetuity”.  We have every confidence that partnering arrangements can be achieved although the current deadline to conclude the sale is extremely short.
WOLF is continuing to engage the community regarding this initiative as well as meeting with an expanding base of interested parties including private individuals and groups, First Nations, government and other agencies in order to pursue all available avenues to finance the purchase of these properties.  WOLF has taken on this exciting challenge and looks forward to using the information gained as a “blueprint” and model for other successful co-ventures involving community advocacy groups in support of environmental conservation in Langley Township.  

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

PUBLISHED WITHOUT IMMEDIATE COMMENT

The following item has been brought forward from the September 17, 2012
Special Closed Council Meeting:
1. Glen Valley Properties for Sale
Whereas:
1. Council desires to acquire land and construct a new Community Centre that
will contain a pool and ice arena in downtown Aldergrove;
2. In order to construct and operate a new Community Centre funds need to
be raised, and to facilitate that, Council has directed that certain surplus
lands be disposed of and marketed for sale;
3. Concerns were raised in the Community about the proposed disposition of
some of the surplus lands in Glen Valley parcels north of the Gray Pit
Lands, which, while not part of Gray Pit, are commonly referred to as the
Gray Pit Lands, including five lots having the following legal descriptions:
a) Lot 12 - PID: 012-266-329
District Lot 320 Group 2 New Westminster District Plan 1560
b) Lot 13 - PID: 008-386-706
District Lot 327 Group 2 New Westminster District Plan 1560
c) Lot 14 - PID: 012-266-345
District Lot 320 Group 2 New Westminster District Plan 1560
d) Lot 15 - PID: 012-266-361
District Lot 320 Group 2 New Westminster District Plan 1560
e) Lot 16 - PID: 012-266-370
District Lot 320 Group 2 New Westminster District Plan 1560
(together, such five (5) lots being the Gray Pit Lands)
4. The Township is fortunate to have significant passive park and green space
holdings that include hundreds of acres in Ponder Park, the West Creek
Lands, the Milaster property and thousands of acres of Regional parks, and
must find a balance between the requests for green space with other
community needs;
5. The Gray Pit Lands consist of five lots, and each lot has an appraised value
of approximately six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000.00) for a total
combined value of approximately three million dollars ($3,000,000.00);
6. After due consideration of public concern raised regarding the Gray Pit
Lands, the Gray Pit Lands were marketed for sale on the Multiple Listing
Service (MLS) for in excess of thirty days;
7. A public interest group known as Watchers of Langley Forest (W.O.L.F.)
submitted a letter of intent to Council dated September 5, 2012 to acquire
the Gray Pit Lands for fair market value on the following terms:
a) the Gray Pit Lands shall be owned/purchased by W.O.L.F.;
b) the Gray Pit Lands shall be protected and conserved for park,
trail, education, and recreational purposes in perpetuity;
c) W.O.L.F. to provide a ten thousand dollar ($10,000.00)
refundable deposit to enter into a preliminary agreement to
preserve the Gray Pit Lands.
8. Council had originally anticipated that community groups would also raise
funds to retain the McLellan Forest lands for public purposes and that
understanding appears to be uncertain;
9. In order to facilitate the construction of the new Community Centre
(including a pool and ice arena) in downtown Aldergrove, Council desires to
provide W.O.L.F. with an option to purchase all of the Gray Pit Lands (the
Option) for the fair market value of three million dollars ($3,000,000.00) (the
Purchase Price) and otherwise upon the following terms and conditions
(without limitation) to be included in a purchase option agreement (the
Purchase Option Agreement) to be entered into between W.O.L.F. and
the Township on or before November 17, 2012:
a) It shall be a condition precedent to the Option and obligations
under the Purchase Option Agreement that:
i. W.O.L.F. shall pay to the Township a ten thousand
dollar ($10,000.00) refundable deposit on or before
October 3, 2012; and
ii. W.O.L.F. shall provide evidence satisfactory to the
Township that W.O.L.F. is a society duly incorporated
in British Columbia pursuant to the Society Act,
RSBC 1996, ch. 433.
b) The Purchase Price shall be payable by W.O.L.F. on or before
November 17, 2012.
c) W.O.L.F. shall covenant to preserve the Gray Pit Lands and
trees located thereon for public park, trail, education and
recreational purposes in perpetuity and otherwise upon terms
and conditions satisfactory to the Township, including without
limitation, registration of restrictive covenants, reverter rights
and/or other relevant charges upon title to the Gray Pit Lands in
respect of such preservation, purposes and use of the Gray Pit
Lands.
d) In the event of the dissolution or insolvency of W.O.L.F. and/or a
breach of W.O.L.F.’s obligation to preserve or ensure the
preservation of the Gray Pit Lands and trees as described above
in sub-paragraph (c), ownership of the Gray Pit Lands shall
revert to the Township of Langley.
e) The Option and the Purchase Option Agreement shall not be
assignable by W.O.L.F. without the prior written consent of the
Township, in their sole discretion as evidenced by a duly adopted
resolution of Council.
10. In the event that W.O.L.F. does not exercise the Option and/or pay the
Purchase Price on or before November 17, 2012 in accordance with the
terms of the Purchase Option Agreement for any reason, the Township may
proceed with the direction provided in previous council resolutions to
dispose of the Gray Pit Lands that were marketed for sale in accordance
with Council policy.
Therefore be it resolved that:
1. Council provide WOLF with the opportunity to acquire the five lots in the
Gray Pit lands that are for sale for a fair market value of $3,000,000.00 on
or before November 17, 2012 (60 days) by provision of a $10,000.00
refundable deposit (within fourteen (14) days) provided that:
a) WOLF will provide documentation that it is a legitimate, incorporated
Society prior to closing with the provision;
b) that in the event of its dissolution or insolvency its (WOLF) assets
will revert to the Township;
c) WOLF will covenant, and agree to enter into an agreement, to
preserve these lands and trees for public park, trail, education and
recreational purposes in perpetuity; and
d) the opportunity available to WOLF cannot be assigned to a third
party without consent of the Township of Langley Council as
evidenced by a duly adopted resolution; and
2. That if WOLF does not proceed in accordance with the terms of this
resolution, that staff proceed with the direction as provided in previous
Council resolutions to dispose of the Gray Pit lands that were marketed for
sale in accordance with Council policy.
Section 90(1) (e) Property; (k) Negotiations
CARRIED
October 1, 2012

The original document can be found in the eveing agenda of the Council for Monday October 1