Over the past three days, our community has gathered together to participate in workshops and to celebrate through music the profound dedication that we have to protecting our forests from industrial logging. What I saw and experienced this weekend could barely be contained in these short words, as it was nothing shy of life changing.
After several years of conversations and meetings about how to address these issues, I feel like I can now say that we have formed a movement. The coordinated efforts of people in this community have reached far beyond the shores of Cortes. Present at the event this weekend were members of the Ancient Forest Alliance, the Wilderness Committee, and the Forest Action Network as well as the many people who traveled to the island to attend this event. We also had a documentary filmmaker on site, a conservation photographer, and the presence of many new allies from communities along the coast.
I almost couldn't imagine how to begin recounting all of the powerful moments that occurred over these past few days. As I watched things come alive that I had only seen as plans on paper, I realized that all of the work to create this event was more than worthwhile. It was literally a labour of love; painful, profound, and incredibly magical.
Thank you to this community for bringing this collaborative dream to life, and for giving me the courage to put my faith in our power as people; unified, organized, diverse, and resilient.
And I would like to make a personal statement to Island Timberlands and Brookfield Asset Management that we are many voices, and we will rise up singing.
Stay tuned for more stories and media about the Fest. And check out Carrie Saxifrage's amazing article for the Vancouver Observer:http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/earthmatters/cortes-island-forestfest-forest-activism-all-generations
Also, if you have any stories and reflections you'd like to share about your experience at Forestfest, please post them here or send them to us by email!