Shame on the The Land Conservancy (TLC) British Columbia board of directors for what I believe is a betrayal of trust to Merv Wilkinson’s vision for Wildwood forest’s future and betrayal to members of TLC and the Ecoforesty Institute Society and other supporters of Wildwood, who donated almost $1 million to protect and keep Wildwood as a public forest not a private one as TLC has been fighting members of both organizations to do for the past few years.
For more than 60 years, Merv Wilkinson earned a living doing sustainable logging on the property he called Wildwood, south of Nanaimo. Merv’s work received such acclaim that in 2009 the Nanaimo-born forester received both the Order of B.C. and Order of Canada.
TLC purchased the property in 2001 from Merv and his ex-wife Grace with the proviso that Merv and his wife Anne would live out their days in the house he built in Wildwood. TLC became the owner with the Ecoforestry Institute Society managing the property as a public ecoforestry and educational site.
At the TLC AGM on October 22, 2016, TLC members left shocked and angry at the board of directors continued determination to spend funds on legal fees to be allowed to sell Wildwood to a private buyer, even though the Ecoforesty Institute Society have made a substantial offer to purchase Wildwood with a trust deed covenant that would protect Wildwood in accordance with Merv Wilkinson’s wishes.
I am certainly not alone in believing if this private sale happens, it will cause very damaging outcomes for all land trusts in garnering future property donors and supporter donations.
My hope for everyone’s sake is that justice prevails on Nov. 14-15 when Justice Fitzpatrick will decide the fate of Wildwood that the community has rallied so hard to protect.
For more information visit www.savewildwood.com.