Duo cycles Canada for forest awareness
November 30, 2011 by Liza Dawson-Whisker, contributing writer
While many feel powerless to affect environmental change, a wildlife biologist and a musician recently cycled over 11,000 kilometers across Canada to raise money and awareness for endangered forests.
Wildlife biologist Nigel Jackett and musician Jaime Hall arrived tired but triumphant on a blustery Remembrance Day to a small crowd gathered at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria.
“It’s a tremendous privilege in our society,” says Hall, “to travel so slowly and truly appreciate the distances involved in crossing the country.”
The couple kept a blog of their daily adventures (tillthelasttree.com) and a log of birds they spotted along the way; for each new species of bird added they collected pledges, amounting to 333 species and over $4,000 by the end of the journey.
The money raised will go to the Ancient Forest Alliance, a BC organization working to protect the province’s old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province.
“Having met so many passionate, conservation-minded Canadians on our ride, I feel like we are so close to changing the outdated environmental policies currently employed by the government,” says the Australia-based Jackett, who saw the cycling trip as an opportunity to do something close to his heart.
“We have keep pushing for this; the old-growth forests are on the brink,” he says.
The couple also hopes to raise awareness about the province’s old-growth forest management strategies, as well as what they say are the broken lines of communication between government ministries.
“Seeing the rest of Canada in such detail also reinforces how unique BC’s old-growth forests are,” says Hall, “and how vital it is to protect them.”