Forest of Protest Page 3


Since late August 2001, many people have chosen to show their support for Friendly Forest and the values that are represented by this pocket of sensitive Boreal Forest. These persons, supporting a caring and responsible approach to the interaction of people and environment, have asked to "adopt' a tree in Friendly Forest". (See Adoption Story for the origin of this idea.)

The adopted tree was marked with a sign that stated: "TASPEN's TREE. SaskPower, if you kill my adopted tree, send this marker to me at: TASPEN's mailing address" The person adopting the tree also received an adoption certificate indicating support for the effort to prevent needless forest destruction and assured the person of the right to visit the adopted tree at Friendly Forest. These tree markers and what they represent have been called "A Forest of Protest" by the media. That has been a good description, because trees, living symbols of the persons that adopted them, also represent the broader values that are endangered here and in many parts of our planet.

A few of 2000 tree adoption markers that stand in the way of SaskPower and Government bulldozers.

As of February 11, 2002, SaskPower has begun the work on its construction / destruction through the forest. Only a successful court challenge of the Environment Department's "Opinion" that this project can go ahead without a full environmental impact study can put a halt to what is underway. The members of the Forest Fringe Citizens' Coalition do not have the financial resources to mount such a court challenge, but are fully prepared to work with any other "third party" willing to initiate such legal action. The Environment Department Regulator declared that, in his opinion, the opposition to the route selected by SaskPower, was based on some key individual concerns, and if SaskPower changed its construction and maintenance plans to meet these concerns, the public opposition would no longer be present. It was in line with this determination that Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management (SERM) laid out 23 conditions which would have to be met by SaskPower. Failure to meet these conditions would have resulted in the project requiring a full environmental impact study. Our contention is, and has been, that the opposition expressed by letter and nearly 2000 tree adoptions, was to a destructive forest route when a non-forest option was available, and not based on specific objections such as herbicide use, snowmobile traffic, etc.


Some of the members of the Forest Fringe Citizens' Coalition have particularly felt betrayed by the NDP government of Lorne Calvert. Mr. Calvert and his cabinet colleagues have consistently refused to listen to the arguments presented by the coalition. They have even refused to hear the same arguments when presented to them by NDP Constituency Executive members, and the same arguments made by NDP members of the legislature, Mr. Peter Prebble and Mr. Myron Kowalsky. They came out to this area and saw things for themselves, and subsequently tried to have the SaskPower decision reversed. Only willing to listen to the cleverly crafted deceptions presented by SaskPower, this government and the NDP no longer have any claim to our our support. In looking for new ways to influence public policy with regard to sound environmental issues, some members of the Forest Fringe Citizens' Coalition have directed their attention to the Council of Canadians. Others have looked for a political movement which more closely supports the values we have fought for, finding the Green Party of Canada, or the Saskatchewan branch of the Green Party worthy of support. The Forest Fringe Citizens' Coalition plans for a continuing role in speaking up for environmental issues, and has taken out membership in the Saskatchewan EcoNetwork .

One of the old-growth spruce adopted in protest, but slated for needless destruction. It would take two "tree huggers" to hug this large tree. SaskPower's designers plan a corridor so wide that the tallest tree that would ever grow in that area, if it fell, could not hit the line. So the taller the forest, the more SaskPower targets for destruction. Three km further East, is marginal farmland where the line could have been routed without cutting a tree, and staying at least 500 metres from any home!

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