Bear Mountain: Vancouver Island Destruction to Proceed Apace

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Bear Mountain: Vancouver Island Destruction to Proceed Apace
by Ingmar Lee 
Last week, the City of Langford and the Minstry of Transportation announced that they are about to proceed with their $32,000,000 Bear Mountain Interchange project.
 
They are slated to start cutting trees in December.
 
We believe that government machinations about what to do with the treesit blockade are currently underway.
 
 
 
Last week I met with MOT - Partnership and Project Development Manager Ed Storm, and asked him for information about these machinations.
 
I explained to him that we needed to know if they were planning to arrest people under the ample existing laws, or if they they will be trying to get a court injunction.
 
I won't be surprised if the judiciary is having injunction-fatigue of late, thanks to the work of Betty Krawczyk, but if they have to arrest us through non-injunction means, then all their collusion, deception and lack of consultation will be elaborated in court.
 
This terrifies governments apparently.
 
There is a precedent at Cathedral Grove, - when the judge refused to grant an injunction, they refused to just arrest people, which resulted in the 2 year stand-off. The Campbell government was too chickenshit to hear the truth in court because it would have cost them big-time.

The Bear Mountain treesit is now preparing for a more robust direct action, non-violent civil-disobedient defence of the forest.
 
A spectacular new platform was raised last week and people are busy expanding other aspects of the forest defense infrastructure.
 
The camp has been winterized, platforms are being stocked, and traverse lines are being rigged throughout the forest. Recently, someone leaked us a copy of the top-secret Golder "Environmental Assessment" (EA) (it hasn't been made public since it was released in 2006 - what's the secret?) and as suspected, it is a totally inadequate greenwash stamp of approval.
 
The report is nothing but a list, gleaned from internet research, of all the potential species, at risk or otherwise, which could inhabit that sort of BGZ. There has been no examination of the environmental consequences of the Interchange project, and more disturbing, - no mention of the very significant cultural and speleological resources that will be destroyed.
 
One expects that an EA will examine ALL the prominent features of an area which will be destroyed by a development. Public money was spent on the Golder EA, but they have ignored all the culturally modified trees, and the significant karst features of the area.
 
These features are so obvious that I believe the lack of examination can be construed as "criminal negligence" by either the people who defined the parameters of the EA, and by Golder, whose name is all over the document.

Although the 4-lane Bear Mountain Interchange route was "realigned" by 20 metres to avoid the most obvious karst cave adit which is widely known, there are more than 20 other major depressions in the forest floor in the vicinity of the cave which are indicative of a significant subterranean karst feature.
 
These adit depressions may well contain archeological resources, but to date, they have been unopened, unexamined.
 
Given the emergency, - I repeat that they have announced that they will commence cutting the trees in December, - we have proceded to conduct a preliminary probing of these adits, and some very interesting material has already been unearthed.
 
We are demanding an immediate and credible Archeological Impact Assessment of the area prior to any further threats of construction.
 
We believe that because Denise Blackwell, who is an outspoken proponent of the Bear Mountain development and who sits on Langford City Council, but whose day job is at the BC Archaeological Branch, might be interfering with a proper AIA.
 
We do not understand why [otherwise] they are trying to start this project, in an area with already proven archaeological significance, without any AIA.

Right now, the direct-action, non-violent, civil-disobedient Bear Mountain treesit requires a lot of support. We are appealling for:

people who are willing to risk arrest;

people who will come out to bear witness to those potential arrests;

people who would like to sit in the trees;

and others, willing to join our communications list, and PROTECT GOLDSTREAM.

I am, as usual, appealing for a very basic, but essential video surveillance system. I want a camera in the trees, which uploads 24 hour video to a website.
 
If we're going to get tasered there, we want that covered (I have repeatedly appealed for such equipment for past tree-sits, which is certain to provide very interesting and essential coverage, and: rope of any sort, but especially full length static climbing rope; climbing harnesses; tents; down-filled jackets; solid; closeable totes; general heavy-duty clothing for harsh weather).

We are very delighted with the political convergences which have been lining up recently as we approach this stand-off.
 
The treesit has been very successful in keeping the Bear Mountain atrocity before the media and damaging its reputation.
 
There is widespread disgust in the CRD about Bear Mountain, and citizens are mobilizing against it on many fronts. The Bear Mountain development was also enabled by a sleazy land- transaction between the Campbell government and Western Forest Products, and there's a huge current amount of media attention on these deals.

We are ready for action now, and we ask all of you, - please get involved and start helping us! You are welcome to be as peripherally, or as centrally involved as you like!

 
 
 
Hi All,
Please forward this appeal to Landwatch and any other lists, and please contact me immediately if you'd like to help!
Cheers,  Ingmar
250-721-1386 

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