Where Do We Stand group is misunderstood
I think for the most part, people are largely misunderstanding the Where Do We Stand issue. As a person who has been actively involved from the beginning, I would like to make three very clear and simple points:
1. First and foremost, we feel the people deserve to have a say in how their community forest is being managed. Currently there is zero public engagement, no consultation, we are not included or involved in the decision making or planning process whatsoever. This “we know better” censorship is no longer acceptable to us when a resource with such social, cultural, economic and environmental significance is at stake.
2. There are alternate methods of forestry management and harvesting, and options available that will meet the goals of the people while still allowing the department to thrive if given the opportunity. A financially sustainable forest reserve is not contingent on the current clear cutting and harvesting model. Increased taxes and job loss are baseless arguments made by closed minded people unwilling to adapt to or consider change.
3. The word used from day one has been PAUSE. Where Do We Stand has never called for a permanent end to logging. With over 1,200 petitions signed so far and overwhelming support demonstrated clearly by the council meeting attendance, concerned citizens of the Valley are advocating strongly for Point 1 above while opponents’ arguments continue to be focused on their unwillingness to explore or even consider different options and methodologies available to them.
You may not visit the municipal forest often. But you may be someone who has been impacted by noise. Or odour. Or smoke. Or development. You may have at one time or another felt you didn’t get a say in these things that affected you. Your voice wasn’t heard and it went ahead anyway. Where Do We Stand has gathered together for our forest, but at the core is a cause that everyone can relate to and should support. This is our community and we want public consultation, not closed meeting decisions made without our input.