by Kevin Austin
If, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, then there was a heck of a racket coming out of the Rodmay Heritage Hotel the other night. It was opening night of “Standing Up for Eagle River”—a photo, art and musical celebration of this beautiful little waterway south of town—which is in imminent danger of clear cut logging.
The community turned out in droves.
The walls of the grand old hotel lobby were adorned with more than a hundred images of the river. Contributions ran the gamut from professional works to cherished old snaps from dusty scrapbooks. The kids from Kelly Creek Community School contributed a series of nature drawings, and Terry Brown debuted his film Eagle River: Liquid Jewel Of The Sunshine Coast to a crowded house. Folks were treated to a performance by violinist Madeleine Hocking who then joined in to help Sweet Cascadia raise the roof.
It was a glorious night with a wonderful homemade feel, with a little room for politics: the Friends of Eagle River, who organized the evening, updated folks on what has been happening down at the river, beginning with the most important thing. Fifteen months after learning of Island Timberland’s plans to log the river, the trees are still standing, but the forest is by no means safe. There are no guarantees that harvesting won’t start tomorrow. Trees are taped as you read this.
FoER also presented its Greenway Corridor proposal—a rough draft of what we would like to see happen along the Eagle River, which is a broad and protected swath of land along both sides of the water from the estuary to the dam. This would provide wildlife with unobstructed passage between the ocean and the wild areas above the dam, and leave the impression of wilderness to all who visit the place. To date the company has rejected this idea, but the trees are still standing. Now we as a community need to make this happen. Read more »