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Saturday, April 5, 2008

How to save a rain forest

Starting with a pickle jar of cash from school children, Saltspring Island raised $1-million to save a 19-hectare plot from development


Special to The Globe and Mail

April 5, 2008

Saltspring Island's Creekside Rainforest is cool, moist, lush and much greener than the surrounding area. The sound of island songbirds and the gurgling of a creek that supports two kinds of wild salmon greet the visitor. For species at risk - like the red-legged frog - this is a rare haven - one of the very few rain forests on the Gulf Islands.

But this place a 10-minute drive south from Ganges is also unique in a province that has seen its fair share of animosity between environmentalists and developers, from Clayoquot Sound confrontations in the 1990s to the ongoing battle for West Vancouver's Eagleridge bluffs.

On March 31, a deal was officially sealed between a local numbered company that had planned to develop and log the 19-hectare rain forest and its new owners, a group of concerned citizens of Saltspring working in partnership with the Land Conservancy of B.C.

The community coalition and the Land Conservancy of B.C. did not hold protests or appeal to government to preserve the rain forest. They engaged in a form of collective capitalism in which everyone from local schoolchildren to senior citizens pooled their resources to buy the land from the developer.

Read the beautiful article here

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