It seemed like a good idea at the time
Like many wonderful ideas, I can’t take credit for it.
In May of 2015 George Orchiston made a Freedom-of-Information (FOI) request to the Municipality of Powell River.
The intent was to obtain correspondence between the City and Island Timberlands, the Powell River Waterfront Development Corporation (PRWDC), and PRSC. You can read all 89 pages of the official response to him here.
Shortly after Ellen Gould relayed that document to me, she crucially asked what I thought about the language contained in the timber harvest licences . This happened while I was trying to map past forest logging from satellite imagery, Ellen was helping to map clearcuts in the field, trying to enlist legal opinion on behalf of the Powell River Forest Coalition. Between us a crazy notion was born.
Some months later I’d managed to convince two other people of the beautiful irony of trying to save mature fir and cedar by decorating 15 year-old alder trees with yellow ribbons (think Charlie Brown Christmas trees). We yellow ribboneers had great fun, donations paid for most of the cost of flagging tape, I thought some of the resulting photos were pretty good – and in the end the idea never really took off.
Except that the trees are still standing. The legal timber harvesting rights of Island Timberlands are now a little clearer, even if the responsibilities of PRSC towards the people of Powell River and Tla’amin are not. And that, I hope, may provide grounds for more informed discourse about what is possible for those lands.
So, because images can help put things in context, here’s the essential what, where and why behind “The Yellow Ribbon Project”.
Click on any thumbnail to invoke a full-screen slide-show…