Update Aug 29, 2020: Olga Comeau, Organizer for the Protected Community Forest announced “We did it!! Thanks to everyone near and far that helped us spread the word about our fundraiser to save a forest.” Also, “The land is taxable (HST $12,500) since it is owned by a company, so we will leave the fundraiser open for another week. There have been some generous donations of art by local and further afield artists for an online auction that we will have set up in the coming week that we hope will raise enough to cover the tax and legal fees for the sale…There have been some generous donations of art by local and further afield artists for an online auction that we will have set up in the coming week that we hope will raise enough to cover the tax and legal fees for the sale. We are in the process of setting up a not for profit society to hold the land and any future lands that may be saved.”
I commented in a post a couple of days ago that ” I keep looking for positive news about forests and forestry in NS. ‘Hard to come by.'”
Well some good news came yesterday evening via a CBC News story about the efforts of some North Mountain residents in Annapolis Co. to save 50 acres of mature forest from clearcutting. I had made an entry about this effort on June 29, 2020 on under Social Media when they had crowd funded $23,184 of the $80k they needed to purchase the land.
Olga Comeau, who organized the crowd funding, was interviewed by Elizabeth Chiu on CBC’s Nova Scotia News for Aug 24, 2020, with footage also from the piece of forest they want to protect. Olga talked about her reasons for wanting to protect this piece of forest and told viewers that they are close to reaching their goal. See CBC News Video, 20.00-24.00 min
Following is an Abbreviated Transcript of the Interview
CBC: Fifty acres of Acadian forest that were headed for the sawmill are on the verge of being saved. The woodlot is being rescued from clearcutting thanks to some determined fundraisers and a landowner who is giving the environmentalists a chance to buy it. The land is located near Bridgetown along the north mountain in the Annapolis Valley. Much of the mountain has already been logged. The fundraisers are being given until the end of this month to come up with $80,000 to save the forest.
Olga Comeau organized the fundraiser to save the forest. Olga why did you want to save these trees?
OC: I wanted to save this particular forest because it’s very close to where I live and it’s an area where a great deal of clearcutting has already been done. And the forest has always been very important to me.
CBC: I understand you feel very connected to this forest, in particular two trees.
OC: I do, we have two trees that various people have named Grandmother Pine and Grandfather Pine and when visitors come to go walking through the forest they want to meet those two trees, including my grandchildren that have become quite fond of them too.
CBC: What is so special about these trees?
OC. This sounds a little crazy but they give off an incredible sense of wisdom, and also they are very very large trees, you don’t often see trees that are that big in just a small patch of forest, they are just very impressive.
CBC: Much of this area around north mountain has already been clearcut. In June when you discovered there were plans to log this area. What did you do about it? I understand you talked to the landowner.
OC: Yes we did talk to the landowner who very kindly agreed that he would sell this property to us, so we started to raise the funds to buy it.
CBC: The task is to raise $80,000, no small feat. How has the landowner been with you folks as you try to come up with the money?
OC: He has been most cooperative, we had a deadline for the end of July to start with and we weren’t there yet so he kindly gave us to the end of August. And we have 8 days left…I am quite sure we are going to make it.
CBC: You had a big help, a pretty sizeable donation that came in last week.
OC: We did. We had a wonderful, anonymous donation of $16000, and it certainly was the boost we needed.
CBC: Can you tell us a little about the donor?
OC: She’s a woman who wants to remain anonymous. She has been involved with environmental issues all of her life.. just speaking with her I could see has the same kind of connection with the forest that I have.
CBC: So this forest will be saved through crowd-funding. What are your plans for it?
OC: Just keeping it, really, as a piece of protected forest, allowing it to grow eventually into an Old Growth forest. We may put some meander trails through it so people can walk on it and enjoy it, especially those who have made donations towards it.
CBC. It’s a really interesting fundraiser. Thanks for your time, we appreciate it Olga.
What a wonderful story.
When I last checked, the total accumulated was $74,291… I am sure they can still use some help for the final acre or two.
Also view: Dozens of citizens contribute to $80,000 price tag to halt cutting on 50-acre ‘nature preserve’
Lawrence Powell for Annapolis Co., Aug 17, 2020