Friday, 30 November 2012

Facebook and Twitter

Welcome Global and CTV viewers as well as those who have been here before.
Just a reminder that we are on facebook
or you can follow us on twitter  here
Click on the link to see a photo album of the forest.


Come see for yourself  the forest that Robert Bateman just visited and says is worthy of preservation. Tours for the public are offered at 2 pm every Saturday and Sunday or you can come on your own.

Go here for information on how to find the forest.


Painter Robert Bateman visited the Mclellan East Forest today and yesterday and called on the Mayor and Council to preserve them.See Langley Advance story 
Global and CTV News both had news crews out today and a story should appear on each of their channels evening newscasts. See  Global News reporter Linda Aylesworth twitter page.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Friend of McLellan Forest Susan McCaslin is interviewed in Douglas College student newspaper. Read it here.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


In case you missed it the first time here is another way to watch the video Joe Foy made of the arts event on October 28,2012.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Save McLellan Forest by Olga Khodyreva

On October 28th I was fortunate to attend a beautiful event in Langley's McLellan Forest.
As a person of environmental awareness, I am deeply concerned with the possibililty of this important natural habitiat being destroyed.
My thoughts and emotions are reflected in this drawing.

My regards,

Olga Khodyreva
The Fort Gallery

Monday, 19 November 2012


 A Suite for Endangered Trees in McLellan Forest East, Glen Valley, Langley, BC

by Susan McCaslin

Dear Black Cottonwood
“I stood still and was a tree amid the wood.…”
Ezra Pound

Your saffron leaves unselve us
hollowed trunk a doorway
summoned from forest floor

Melded branches winding
whispered texts entangled
torqued to speechless autumn skies

flaming torsos rising
mottled leaves dropping
honed to shape of tears

What would take you out,
hang for sale signs by the roadway
all in the name of development

de-creating where children
breath in the moist greening
courtship cries of wild barred owls?

Dear Lovers’ Tree

I fell in love with a forest
and became an activist

but first there was you
one, no, two, two cedars twinned

around the heartwood of a tree husk
a realm—two torsos attuned

stretched limb to limb
two root systems’ wet entangling

two of you ascending
splitting, reuniting

like Plato’s round being
against the gods of progress

There are those who would chainsaw
your wide open hearts

and, yes, you pant toward union
under the sky canopy

bride-ing the soar of day
palm to palm like holy Palmers kiss

blessed jointure each to each
pressed each into the other’s ahhhh

So, silenced at your mossed knees
I surrender all

to the forest which makes and remakes
your lust and breath

your aching stately pavane

*The pavane, pavan, paven, pavin, pavian, pavine, or pavyn (It. pavana, padovana; Ger. Paduana) is a slow processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century (Renaissance). 

Dear Christ Cedar

You among emerald drapery
from your wind-
stormed outpost

plank and plane
vertical-horizontal world pivot
sprung from coastal seed

humming core
flaking bark
woodpecker’s grail

growing a wilder carpentry
taller masonry
more commodious poem

Be in us the world’s resinous heart
hung in a spackled sky—
forest green

hoist and balance
equipoise and reach
sylvan singer song

Dear McLellan Forest

(for the students of the Langley School of Fine Arts who came on Nov. 15, 2012 to
experience McLellan Forest)

For the graced and gravitied trees
lolling by the Fraser, this green hymn

Hildegard’s viriditas,
greening power, stemming from the woods

Green man, green woman, green child
mossed and tossed from green

for the unabashed tree huggers
who know it takes a village to save a forest

for Hopkins’ Binsey Poplars
hacked and hewn

for the tall earth-honouring dream
and the dropping, dripping boughs

for the squadron of teens
streaming steadily from yellow buses

into the sacred space to stand
among maidenhair ferns

with serenades for the mushroom stairway
climbing Cottonwood’s hollowed heart

for the auric fairy rings still visible
to un-inventoried eyes

for the Councillors who would barter heritage
for a recreation centre elsewhere

a deeper council, wisdom works,
a pealed appeal rising

Land appellants come
singing for hemlock and cedar—

those who long to be re-created
by mother world, held in green veils

chanting green

*viriditas: a term the German mystic Hildegard of Bingen used for the greening force in

Saturday, 17 November 2012



This is a reminder that every weekend I give tours of the McLellan Park East Forest every Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. I hope you can make it this weekend.  Here is a link to a Google Maps page to help you get there.  Here is the Photo Album to encourage you to see the forest in person.
If you are coming from the freeway or Aldergrove take 264th until you get to 84th Avenue. Turn left and keep going until you get to 257A Street.Then turn right on to 257A and keep going until you get to the trailhead. Your alternate route is to come from Fort Langley along River Road. Take River Road til it becomes 88th Ave. Turn right onto 252nd Street. Proceed down 252nd until you get to  84th Ave.Turn left on to  84th until you get to 257A Street. Then turn left.  I will be there to greet you at or near the trailhead.
-Kirk Robertson
Tour Guide


 If you are in Aldergrove today  (Saturday November 17) you might want to attend the Joint Town Halll style forum that  is being held at the  Kinsman Center  between 1-3 pm. The address is 26770 29 Ave. The two Langley Mayors,the School Board Chair and federal MP Mark Warawa will be in attendance. The public will be able to submit written questions. If you are unable to attend in person you can also ask questions via Twitter by tweeting @Mayor Froese, @MPmarkwarawa, or @LangleySchools, using hashtag #asktol.

You could ask the Mayor Froese
1)Why Langley residents have to privately pay for their natural heritage while their modern amenities are paid for with tax dollars?
2)Will the conifer forest or McLellan Park West be protected by designating it as set aside for conservation purposes?

Or you could ask Mark Warawa
What ways the Federal Government can help the Township, the Province ,and WOLF protect the Mclellan Park East  Forest?

Friday, 16 November 2012


We are currently at $2600. The time frame is very tight people. We need to raise three million dollars in a month. That deadline may be unreasonable but it is what it is. Go here to find out how you can pledge.


The below text is taken from a Press Release issued by WOLF on November 15.

Watchers of Langley Forests is pleased to announce that artist Sylvia Oates will donate
twenty percent of the sales proceeds from two of her new paintings towards the purchase
of the McLellan Park East Forest. The public will get a chance to see the works of art
during the Eastside Culture Crawl.

Sylvia Oates is a painter who who draws her inspiration from the beauty of our west coast
environmSylvia Oent. The paintings were inspired by a visit Sylvia Oates made to the
forest on October 20. Her connection to nature is longstanding.Her formative years were
spent in the Willoughby area of Langley Township. “My happiest hours were spent in the
bush at the edge of our farm” she said of her childhood in a letter to the editor.Sylvia Oates is
now based in Vancouver with her studio in East Vancouver. She works in acrylics and oils
and occasionally mixed media. Her website is  The paintings will be displayed in her studio during the Eastside Culture Crawl running from November 16 to November 18.

The McLellan Park East Forest is one of two municipally owned forest stands in the Glen
Valley area of Langley Township. It is twenty five acres in size. Together with Mclelan
Park West it constitutes the last significant forested block in Glen Valley. Both McLellan
Park parcels were originally put up for auction earlier this year but after a public outcry
the municipality withdrew the western parcel from the market.

The McLellan Park East Forest is of the dwindling Coastal Western Hemlock ecological
community. It is a mature second growth forest. Of the two CWH types prevalent in the
forest one one is endangered and the other is destined to be endangered if circumstances
continue as they are. Two wetlands add to the overall biodiversity.
The Township has owned the land for over eighty years and left it relatively untouched.
The only evidence of logging is from pioneer times. Some trees may be up to 240 yrs old.
The money from the sale of the lands is to go to the purchase of a site on which to build a
recreational centre in the community of Aldergrove.
Watchers of Langley Forest is a group of Langley citizens who came together to fight for
the conservation of both forests. Since late July 2012 WOLF has been waging a public
awareness campaign to make the public aware of this ecological rarity. WOLF and the
Township of Langley have signed a contract that gives WOLF a narrow time frame
to raise three million dollars to buy the property from the Township.The deadline is
December 17.

WOLF would like to thank Sylvia Oates for her generosity and support.


Here you go

Thursday, 15 November 2012


I just wanted to make a quick note about the student's event in the forest today. I know I had a great time and I hope everybody else did too. Thank you to Silvia Knittel and Donna Usher for making this happen.

I would also like to thank all the other teachers who came out and of course the students who were interested and excited to spend time in the outdoors. I wish there were more people on hand to hear the singing in the forest. I am afraid I didn't get the names of the individual performers but everybody was excellent.
Thanks to all the WOLF people who were on hand as well.
and a Thank you to B.E.A. R
If there is anybody reading this from the student body I hope that this blog proves useful. 
-Kirk Robertson
Vice Chair
PS I hope that everybody takes to heart the words of Stuart Bucholtz
"Don't assume someone else is doing it"


 Last night WOLF challenged friends of the forest to reach the $2000 mark by 10:00 pm tonight in our pledge drive to raise three million dollars to buy the McLellan Park East Forest from the Township of Langley.It is a pleasure to announce that we have already reached that target. We have pledges for a combined total of $2600. Let's try to get it to $3000 by ten o'clock tonight.


This video was taken on a very rainy Sunday in October.The first big rain of the season. It was the same day as the first video with Leonard Howell. Thanks to Scott Paton for filming.editing and placing on Youtube.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


WOLF has begun a pledge drive to raise money for the purchase of McLellan Park. We are also exploring partnerships with conservancy groups and others. For now we just need your pledge. No collection of money will occur until we have reached our fundraising target.

See below to read a message from WOLF Chair Scott Perry on how to make your pledge. So far we are at $600. Lets see if we can get that number up to 2000 dollars by 10 pm tomorrow.

Your support is greatly appreciated.


This is in case you missed this the first time we posted it.


There has been a slight revision in the schedule for the Fine Arts Event is the forest tomorrow.The new times are as such.
 Thursday, November 15th Schedule-
1:30 students arrive in buses
2:15 or so Introductions of the forest by Kirk Robertson and Susan McCaslin
2:30 Student performances and presentations. (Singing, poetry, a youth choir etc.)
3:00 Student tours of forest
3:30 Students return to LFAS

I hope you can make it.
-Kirk Robertson 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


On Sunday October 28 Joe Foy, national campaign director of the Wilderness Committee spoke at the Art in the Park event. Joe brought a video camera and taped the event. He has prepared a video of excerpts. You can find it at the Wilderness Committee site. Welcome to everbody who has come from there.

The Mclellan Park East site is a twenty five acre forest stand in the Glen Valley area of Langley Township. It is just minutes away from historic Fort Langley. It is a Coastal Western Hemlock forest. Two types of CWH are present. Two wetlands help round out the biodiversity. You can read about it here in the Henderson and Ryder report. You can read about the circumstances of the Henderson and Ryder report and a summary  in this post.

If you want to pledge money for the purchase of McLellan Park East Forest go here
If you want to join WOLF or help out send an email to Address it to Kirk Robertson.
If you would like to see pictures of the forest go here.
and if you would like to visit personally tours are available every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. 
You can also like us on Facebook 
or follow us on Twitter

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Heidi Greco sent the blog the text of two poems that she read out at the Art in the Park event on October 28.Here they are. The first is untitled. The second is entitled "Beatitudes" You can read Heidi Greco's thoughts about the forest and the arts event here.
-Kirk Robertson

with a single tree
alone in a grassy field.

the obstinate way its trunk
wrenches ever upward, sustained
by the very earth it pulls itself from.

the shape of its myriad branches
spreading out and open
like a waiting hand to cup the rain.

the line of its stance
how it reaches for the light
the ways it bends around itself, stretching into breeze.

the many years the tree has resided here
the many dried-up summers it has endured
the winter nights it’s stood its ground
against the cold, in solitude.

to its branches, their tips so fine in green,
those many sibilant fingers, rubbing amongst themselves
a mystery of whisperings to the sky.

As a single tree can be admired,
a forest is to respect. So much more
than the sum of its trees, it lives
and breathes, holds the soil in its grasp
enmeshed in a handshake of intertwined roots.

It is essential, the same way
we must hold one another,
lean toward the lee, away from the wind.
 -- excerpted from a longer work commissioned by the City of Surrey for National Poetry Month, 2012

Beatitudes for the 21st century
(based on the Gospel of Matthew, 5: 3-10)

Blessed are the downtrodden,
for they shall be looked up to.

Blessed are the atheists,
for they shall be proven correct.

Blessed are the recyclers,
for their spirits shall dwell in trees.

Blessed are those who challenge the courts and question the greedy,
for they shall be affirmed.

Blessed are the orangutans, whose intelligence shall be acknowledged;
the horses, who shall rise in the sky, flying as they were intended;
the tortoises, who will be assigned more spacious dwellings.

Blessed are the sweet-natured,
for they shall come back as bees.

Blessed are the homeless, the addicted, the unemployed,
for they shall be granted holiday pay and ensconced amongst stars.

Blessed are those worn down by the blights of daily life,
for they shall be released to ride galaxies of light.

-- first published in Igniting the Green Fuse: Four Canadian Women Poets, a chapbook published by Above & Beyond Productions, 2012



Thursday, 8 November 2012


You are cordially invited to attend a celebration of a rare mature forest in Glen Valley, Langley organized by students and faculty from The Langley School of Fine Arts. Students will be sharing their various art forms in the forest and there will be a choir. The event is open to the public. The event takes place on Thurs. Nov. 15, 2-3:30 pm.

On Thursday, November 15th, several senior classes from LFAS are heading to McLellan forest to view, perform, photograph, write, draw, sing, dance... to honor and experience a local space that is on the development block. This collaborative arts sharing in the forest has never happened before, and we hope that it will be a magical experience. Local and nationwide press will be there covering the event as well. The students are being educated in advance about the political and economical concerns surrounding the forest and will be encouraged to develop their own opinions.

McLellan Forest is a 25 acre parcel that is for sale by the Township. It is a mixed conifer/deciduous forest with different types of habitat. There is extensive vegetation on the forest floor, various tree types and over 100 species of birds and animals that have been observed by naturalists. Some of the trees may be as old as 240 years. One area may have been marsh/bog in the nineteenth century and very likely has never been logged. Another area contains some stumps with evidence of pioneer logging. The thick vegetation makes this forest appear larger than its 25 acres.

Visit the photo album of the Forest.
Thursday, November 15th Schedule-

Thursday, November 15th Schedule-
1:30 students arrive in buses
2:15 or so Introductions of the forest by Kirk Robertson and Susan McCaslin
2:30 Student performances and presentations. (Singing, poetry, a youth choir etc.)
3:00 Student tours of forest
3:30 Students return to LFAS
UPDATE: The above schedule now reflects the correct times  

Bring good hiking boots, possible rain gear.

Directions: If coming from Fort Langley follow River Road east, make a right at 256th Street, then make a left on to 84th Ave. 257th Street is on the left-hand side. If coming from Aldergrove go north on 264th Street, make a left on to 84th Ave, 257th street is on the the right-hand side

Email to for more questions. Address correspondence to Kirk Robertson.

BLOGGERS NOTE: I want to emphasize that this is not a WOLF event. It is being organized by teachers and students at Langley Fine Arts School. This is their opportunity to learn about the forest and the controversy around it. Mayor Froese and Councillor Fox had an opportunity to speak on behalf of the Township to students at LFAS yesterday (Wednesday November 7) Mark Haddock spoke briefly in a personal capacity in favour of conserving the forest. I am told that he will have a chance to speak to student again as the Mayor and Councillor Fox had more time allloted to them.
Any questions that I receive I will be happy to anwer if I know the answer. With regard to this event if I do not know I will refer to the organizers. As it says above this event is open to the public I hope you can make it,
-Kirk Robertson

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

WOLF Society Formation Update

Hello everyone, we have made progress recently on the formation of WOLF as a registered Society...
A Board of Directors and Society Officers have been elected. Society Bylaws and Constitution have been created. Application has been made to the BC Registry Services in order to Register Watchers of Langley Forests Society as a non-profit society. Once registration has been complete we will be apply to CRA for Charitable status and will then be able to issue receipts elegible for tax deduction.

 The Board of Directors would like to thank all of you who have continued to support our objective of preserving the forests of Langley. To ensure the permanent preservation of both McLellan Park East and McLellan Park West it will take further action and commitment from a wide range of supporters. To this end we intend to be able to accept online Society memberships and donations. We are also planning a McLellan Park Fundraising Pledge Drive, asking for support from private individuals, businesses and institutions to financially commit to make this goal a reality. Finally, we will be enlisting your assistance as volunteers as well as providing examples of how you can help us to preserve this living heritage.
If you, or anyone you know, would like to become a member of WOLF,  make a contribution, volunteer your time and energy or would like further information please feel free to contact us at
Watchers of Langley Forests Society