By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 28, 2012
They were supposed to tell a tale of how forestry evolved and shaped the province.
The yarn they now spin is one of neglect and collective amnesia.
Log books were first commissioned by the Squamish council almost a decade ago at an estimated cost of $200,000 to celebrate the rich history of forestry, but the books–and the story they tell–are still in the dark for lack of funding.
Walk along the muddied path, parallel to the train at the West Coast Railway Association Park, and you will catch a glimpse of how the present shames the past.
Standing amidst the grass that slowly creeps up are the plinths, empty and barren, stripped of their purpose: To hold the 14 log books that capture the history of West Coast forests.
But log books are nowhere to be seen.
Look closely, and you will notice a long, yellow container. This is where the log books have remained locked for the past two years, waiting to literally see the light of the day for lack of funding.
They have found temporary space here, but not a permanent home.
Like a soccer ball, these massive displays of art have been kicked around from one place to another.
From the Loggers Sports Ground to the adventure centre, and then back to the Loggers Sports, and now finally to the West Coast Railway Park.
“We hope to get funding in place this fall to install them and get them presentable for the public,” said Ken Tanner, the manager of the West Coast Park.
“Good intentions all along, just need funds to get the job finished,” Tanner said.
Artist Glenn Greensides created the log book in 2004 at the Loggers Sports Ground.
A lot of work went into creating them: Each log was cut into half and stood on end to represent the cover of each opened book.
Protective roofs representing the canopy of a tree were placed on top of the two half logs.
Carved wooden pages with images and words were attached to the logs creating the effects of a giant wooden book. Each of the 14 books represented a chapter in the history of West Coast Forests.
The books were placed in a shed on the grounds for a long period of time. In 2007, the council moved them to adventure centre.
But soon, the decision makers felt they needed to move them from the adventure centre to free up space for tourism operators who wanted to advertise there.
The then SSC director, Rob Kirkham, also felt the adventure centre was not the right place for them.
“It’s dark there and they are jammed together. They don’t really fit in there,” Kirkham said.
And they went from the adventure centre into a container where it’s probably quite dark and they are jammed together.
They were brought to the West Coast Park two years ago by Susan Steen, the then vice-president of West Coast Park.
She wanted the council to loan the log books for an area that the park was hoping to designate as a forestry interpretive area.
The present general manger, Ken Tanner, said the park is connecting to its donors to see if those log books can be placed where they belonged.
It could take an estimated $30,000 to move them out of the container and place them on the plinths so they can tell the story they were supposed to tell.
Until then, the story they tell is of wasted tax payer’s money, and of history, festering and forgotten in a long, dark container.