Charity Saves Untouched Forest From Loggers By Creating First Crowdfunded Park

A pristine forest surrounding Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia, Canada has been saved from the greedy clutches of loggers after a charity turned to crowdfunding and raised $3 million to purchase the land outright and turned it into a protected park.

Princess Louisa Inlet is a prime example of a fjord in Canada, and one great feature of the inlet is the natural old-growth forest that has been virtually untouched by humans beyond those who wish to enjoy nature at its best.

But loggers only see a profit from the tress they could ruthlessly cut down and that’s why they wanted access to the area.

The problem is that leveling the forest would rob several species of vital habitats, such as grizzly bears, mountain goats, eagles, northern goshawks, threatened marbled murrelets and countless numbers of marine species.

Concerned about the threat the loggers posed to the region, people approached the BC Parks Foundation to see what they could do to stop it.

“There were a couple of offers for it to be logged, so a lot of people came to us and said, ‘Is there something you can do? Can we get together, can we try to protect this place?’ So we said yes,” BC Parks Foundation CEO Andy Day said in a statement.

In an effort to save Princess Louisa Inlet, especially in light of the Amazon rainforest being on fire and President Donald Trump’s effort to open up a national forest in Alaska to logging and other corporate interests that would destroy it, Day and his organization sought help from ordinary citizens from around the world in the form of donations so that they could purchase the land outright.

What happened next is nothing short of amazing as people all over the globe donated to the cause, helping the foundation raise $3 million, enough to purchase 22,240 acres of forestland that will now be permanently off limits to logging.

In an announcement of their victory, the foundation wrote a lengthy statement praising those who donated, and pointed out that had the area been opened up to logging, it would have not only killed the forest but the tourism industry, which is a major source of jobs and income in British Columbia because people from around the world visit the inlet to experience nature.

It is clear from the wellspring of support we received in such a short amount of time that people want to keep B.C. beautiful. Parks are the core of our identity – they are what makes B.C. ‘supernatural’ and the reason why so many of us live here and visit. With tourism now contributing more to our gross domestic product than any other primary resource industry (including mining, oil and gas, forestry and logging, and agriculture and fishing), these places are also critical to our economy and livelihoods. But most importantly, they are anchors for our hearts and souls – they are our cathedrals, our towers, our pyramids; the wonders of our world, inspiring awe, gratitude and fulfillment. In parks, we find our way.

The inlet now stands as the first crowdfunded park in the country, and even Day could not contain his excitement and gratitude.

“It was so many people who gave us $10 or $15 and said, ‘This is all I can do, but this is a wonderful thing that you’re doing,'” Day said. “It’s really a huge portion of the inlet and we’ll do our best to make sure that that area stays protected forever.”

“I think hospital foundations and all the charities out there know that government can’t do everything,” he continued. “So the way that companies and private citizens and governments can come together around things to do great things, that’s the model of the future, and I think it’s a really beautiful model in the sense that it just allows more people to participate and be a part of something great.”

Donations are still coming in, and the foundation is saving them for the next big purchase of land that needs to be saved for future generations to enjoy.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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