This is the forest that was saved a couple of years back, in large part through efforts of the Han Shan Project. Since that time, the land was bought from Langley Township and put aside as a site to be protected in perpetuity, a place that would serve as a living laboratory for students from Trinity Western University.
As you step onto the path leading into the forest, you're greeted by a sign offering guidelines for using the preserve. Among these is the note that the path is designated for use by people, that vehicles aren't allowed -- even horses aren't permitted.
Last weekend, on the pretext of the Township needing to build a fence, at least one bulldozer was allowed to break these rules. It cut what's been called a 'swath' through the forest. But its track seems much broader than could have been necessary. It extends for at least a kilometre, and doesn't seem to make any sense in terms of being a fence-line -- I couldn't tell what it might have been protecting -- and from what.
I'm not sure who dropped the ball as far being in charge of stewardship, but someone sure did.Tomorrow is election day for municipalities in B.C. and somehow I suspect that voters in Langley Township have no idea the extent of the havoc that's been wreaked in lands that were supposedly protected. The current mayor, running for re-election, is using the taglines, "responsible leadership." But where, I ask, was the leadership required to look after this eco-forest?
I'm dejected, not only by the destruction I witnessed in the Fort Langley forest, but by today's decision from our provincial Supreme Court granting an injunction to Kinder-Morgan. The ruling means that the protesters -- who've been trying to protect parkland on Burnaby Mountain -- must break camp by Monday afternoon. So much for the right to protest, so much for protecting space that's been decreed as a conservation area.
It's hard to hold out much in the way of optimism, especially where, as if to top things off, the Keystone Pipeline Project passed today.
If you go out to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise. Those words are from a song that once seemed innocuous, The Teddy Bears' Picnic. Although I remember a surprisingly freaky version of that song, nothing could match the horror of the surprise I was in for today when I walked in the woods. If you care to see the short video I took while walking in the forest today, here it is.