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Regarding the latest BC Government scheme: "MacMillan Provincial Park Safety Enhancement Project" PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Thursday, 10 November 2005 16:21
Regarding the Latest BC Government Scheme: "MacMillan Provincial Park Safety Enhancement Project"

PEJ News - Ingmar Lee (F.R.O.G.) - Nov. 10/05 - Here below is the latest BC Government scheme for crashing their same old parking lot into Cathedral Grove. It appeared on the Ministry of Environment website today.


The only thing that's changed with the Gordon Campbell government's approach to solving the Cathedral Grove Parking Lot dilemma is that they've employed some new spin-meister to twist the optics on their same old proposal. If you look at this announcement carefully, you'll see that this is exacly the same old parking lot scheme, all packaged up with a brand new spin. They have 'studied' several of the options which were put forward at their last 'Public Consultation' meeting in Port Alberni last year, and are now spinning their same old arguments against these alternate proposals.


In their 'Relative Impact Matrix' analysis, you will see exactly the same old government parking lot proposals which were put forward 3 three WLAP-Ministers ago, by Joyce Murray. They are listed as 'Options A, B & C.' These are the abundantly discredited options which have resulted in the Tree-sitting blockade which is now nearing 2 years of 24/7 occupation. Options A,B & C are all within 50 metres of each other, are on the floodplain, are in the Elk habitat, are on the windward side of the Grove and will require further cutting of old-growth and buffer trees, and will require about two left-hand turns across the busy Highway 4 for the approximately 1,000,000 tourist visits a year. Glaringly absent from this scheme is the fact that these Options will require the construction of a 3km ballasted, gravelled and culverted loop-causeway through the Grove so that visitors can access the Big Trees at the heart of the park.

In the 'Relative Impact Matrix' table, the government analysis show-stoppers for the various options put forward are marked with red dots and squares which appear in the 'Safety Columns.' Predictably, it is only the governments prior 'proposals', A,B, and C which come out without any red dots. Other proposals, including the FROG proposals are 'red-dotted' on the grounds that the public will need to cross the highway to get to the Big Tree heart of the park, which they are deeming a show-stopping safety issue. This is in spite of the fact that these Options clearly included the construction of a simple pedestrian cable-bridge over the highway, or even an underpass. Our proposals have CLEARLY ADDRESSED THIS SAFETY ISSUE.

Although the government proposals A, B & C are not red-dotted in the safety columns, the major aspect of the serious safety concern of their proposal, -the 1,000,000 tourist-visits a year, many large holiday vehicles will need to make TWO left turns across the highway! (our research has demonstrated that most visitors to the Grove stop there on their way to the west coast, -nobody is disputing this) We have approached numerous traffic safety experts regarding these left hand turns, and there is a unanimous agreement, that there will be accidents, as there are anywhere where people make left turns across a highway. THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT ADDRESSED THIS SAFETY ISSUE.

It is abundantly clear that nothing whatsoever has changed and this government is determined to force its giant pay-parking lot exactly as it has done before. It is very important that people make some effort to help FROG (Friends of the Grove) at this critical juncture. The FROG effort, against so many odds, has been instrumental in keeping those trees standing now for two years, and has built wide-spread local, national and international support for its campaign. FROG has also worked carefully with local First Nations. There is wide-spread awareness of the Cathedral Grove issue, and people are watching it closely.

Everyone who is concerned about Cathedral Grove has been demanding a fair and open public discussion and process to resolve this serious issue. This latest stumbling effort by the Campbell government simply will not cut it.

Cheers, Ingmar

(NB: We call it "'Cathedral Grove.'" We do not accept the "MacMillan" moniker for the world-famous Big-Tree Park. H.R. MacMillan was amongst the most voracious forest-destroyers that ever walked the Planet')

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2005 16:21

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