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ECOFORESTRY INSTITUTE SOCIETY

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 3, 2015

EIS URGES TLC MEMBERS TO SUPPORT EIS BYLAW MOTIONS AT TLC JUNE 12, 2015 EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

VICTORIA – The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) has teamed with the Wildwood Protectors (WP) to propose revisions to The Land Conservancy’s upcoming bylaw amendments. The revisions are designed to guarantee that Wildwood Ecoforest is transferred only to a charitable and non-profit trust.

The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) has announced an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held June 12 to ask TLC members to approve amendments to its current bylaws. These amendments are required to allow TLC to transfer inalienable properties to new owners as indicated by the Plan of Arrangement.

A recent explanation from TLC of their bylaw amendments makes it clear that, if passed, their amendment would allow TLC to sell Wildwood to private interests, with no legal protections, except for a covenant. EIS is hopeful that TLC will work with them in crafting an amendment that will allow the transfer of the inalienable properties to other charitable land trusts as outlined in their Plan, but that will protect Wildwood in the spirit of their recent joint press release.

TLC stated in that joint press release with EIS that they will only transfer Wildwood to a “public trust” which is defined in law as a charitable and non-profit entity. EIS has offered $600,000 as a donation to TLC to pay their creditors if TLC puts Wildwood in such a trust. On behalf of its benefactors and the public, and before forwarding the funds, EIS must be guaranteed the trust is truly structured as a non-profit entity.

EIS has stewarded Wildwood for the past fourteen years. States Peter Jungwirth, EIS Chair, “EIS remains steadfast in its determination to see that Wildwood is protected as an ecoforest, following in the footsteps of Merv Wilkinson, and fully in the public domain. We are asking TLC members to support two simple motions to be put forward by EIS and the Wildwood Protectors.”

The two motions to be proposed by EIS and the Wildwood Protectors are:

  • To the inalienability bylaw itself: that Wildwood be sold or transferred only to another non-profit public charitable society, charitable group, or charitable purpose trust, having similar purposes; and
    As a separate motion: that Wildwood be sold or transferred only to a charitable purpose trust for a minimum price of $600,000, with a goal of $860,000.
  • EIS has offered a $600,000 contribution to help with TLC’s significant debt and to ensure Wildwood is protected through a charitable purpose trust and covenant. TLC has yet to accept that offer.

EIS urges TLC members to attend this critical Extraordinary General meeting and to carefully consider their vote and the subsequent impacts on TLC properties, particularly Wildwood. EIS and WP ask that TLC members support passing these motions that will still allow TLC to sell the properties as needed, but will protect Wildwood from a private sale.

The Wildwood Protectors is a group of citizen advocates united in their passion for Wildwood and who have worked tirelessly to protect it from falling into the hands of private interests. In addition to their work to clarify and educate the public about TLC amendments and voting procedures, they have collected more than 1,500 signatures in support of keeping Wildwood in the public domain, significant achievements for a newly-convened organization.

EIS wishes to thank the Wildwood Protectors, for all their dedication, commitment and ongoing work to save Wildwood. We cannot do it without you.

For more information or to join the Ecoforestry Institute Society or the Wildwood Protectors, please contact:

Ecoforestry Institute Society

Barry Gates
EIS Vice Chair
250 704-9469
barrydotgates@gmail.com

EIS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildwoodecoforest

Wildwood Protectors

WP Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/savewildwood/

WP Email: savewildwood@gmail.com

WP Twitter: @savewildwood

Media contacts:

For more information, check out these resources:

Attached Backgrounder: EIS, TLC and Wildwood: A Unique Partnership

Notice of TLC’s Special Resolution Meeting

Wildwood Ecoforest Facebook

Barry Gates
EIS Vice Chair
250 704-9469
barrydotgates@gmail.com

Kathy Code
EIS Communications Director
250 418-5313
klcode@shaw.ca

Jessica Snider
Wildwood Protectors Citizen’s Group
250-734-1422
savewildwood@gmail.com