TERRY GORDON, RETIRED ECO-FORESTER: ‘My interest is to help Merv Wilkinson and Wildwood in any way that I can’







Terry Gordon & Merv Wilkinson


“How would you like your life’s work and renown to be bastardized by lying bureaucrats?” asks Terry Gordon, a retired eco-forester who was trained and worked with Merv Wilkinson at Wildwood and in eco-forestry workshops in Washington and Oregon.

“I grew up in Sooke and my family had a large business in salvage logging and manufacturing value-added cedar products.

“I am the eco-forester who was trained by Merv with the idea of assisting him in operating Wildwood as he got older,” says Mr. Gordon in recent email correspondence to the Editor of the CCC BLOG.

“I taught and gave Saturday tours at Wildwood when Merv was not available and I worked on one of his harvesting projects in the 90’s.

“I was a charter member of the Eco Forestry Institute (EFI) in Victoria and Portland, Oregon, and know of and about its history and the various personalities and politics.

“From this career, I am aware of ‘conservation’ groups – including The Land Conservancy (TLC) – their lack operational forestry knowledge and ability, and general tactics with landowners.

“My interest is to help Merv and Wildwood in any way that I can.”

‘A park is not a forest, and Wildwood is an operational forest.’

– Merv Wilkinson


“Hopefully, TLC can be exposed for what is has done, and not done, to Merv and his forest, and Wildwood returned to being an operational eco-forest.

“Let us remember that TLC and EFI executives are managers/bureaucrats, not operational forestry people.

“Many are trained and adept at ‘playing the system,’ but cannot distinguish a Grand fir tree from a Douglas fir, so to speak.

“Merv has told me what the specific problems presently are at Wildwood and the types of harvestings and management needed now and where; and how to prevent them in the future.

“Merv has told me that harvesting/eco-forestry management at Wildwood is 10 years behind his normal schedule; so naturally, there is a backlog of standing trees, which are suppressing natural regeneration of the Douglas fir.

“The natural regeneration ‘forest dynamic’ is the keystone of Merv’s eco-forestry ‘silvicultural system.’

“It is only because of natural regeneration, combined with sustainable harvesting, that the present amount of timber exists; natural regeneration is the cause, and via sustainable harvesting management, having more timber – and more diversity of timber types and ages – is the effect,” writes Mr. Gordon.


BRITISH COLUMBIA ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK posts Merv’s ‘Report Card‘ on TLC/EFI’s disastrous management of Wildwood


Meanwhile, Andy Sinats, editor of ecobc.org, the British Columbia Environmental Network’s hot website, has just posted Merv Wilkinson’s damning ‘Report Card‘ on the ongoing disgraceful mismanagement of Wildwood by The Land Conservancy and the Eco Forestry Institute.

It makes for a tragic reading experience for all those like myself who understand the wider ramifications of this dereliction of duty by TLC/EFI, and the harm that this is doing to the whole of Mr. Wilkinson life work at Wildwood.

If eco-forestry as developed by Merv Wilkinson is not practiced properly at Wildwood, there is a very real danger of the movement toward truly sustainable logging being discredited as economically non- viable, thus the whole thing falling into the trap set by corporate logging interests, who have always maintained that the system could perhaps work in small-scale operations such as Wildwood, but is not feasible in larger ‘cut blocks.’

Merv Wilkinson acknowledges that some of Wildwood now has ‘park-like’ characteristics, but that is not ever what was going on there while he selectively logged the property, nor what he wants to happen there now.

TLC and EFI bureaucrats must surely understand the problem that they have created, and if they truly want to honour and sustain both the world-famous Wilkinson philosophy and actual ongoing selection forestry work at Wildwood, they must begin to arrange for a transfer of the land back to Merv Wilkinson so that he can repair the damage done by them to his silviculture system.

Outstanding mortgages for which he is not responsible should be paid off by TLC/EFI in their entirety before such a transfer happens.

I note with interest that TLC is moving its operations into the Ross Villa on Fairfield Road, an historic heritage house near Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria.

An article in today’s Victoria News tells readers that TLC is throwing a party to celebrate ten years of restoration work there.

Apparently while that work was going on in Victoria, TLC was neglecting its contractual obligations to Merv Wilkinson at Wildwood.

While TLC bureaucrats may be very pleased with their new accommodations, donors should demand to know why Wildwood has been neglected.

[For links to Merv Wilkinson’s Wildwood ‘Report Card’ at ecobc.org, and to The Land Conservancy’s rebuttal article ‘The Facts about TLC’s Wildwood Ecoforest Site,’ please refer to the Comments section below. The latter article is an update of an article originally posted by TLC earlier in the summer when Judith Lavoie’s original story in the Times Colonist appeared. TLC has brought this old article out of the bottom drawer, so to speak, and put it on the front page of their website yesterday, August 26, 2010, apparently to counter our posting on Terry Gordon’s support for Merv Wilkinson. It contains comments by Merv’s daughter Tisha Wilkinson, and Ian Fawcett of TLC.]


Gregory Hartnell, Editor


Merv Wilkinson at Wildwood 1993

Photo courtesy of Andy Sinats



3 Responses to TERRY GORDON, RETIRED ECO-FORESTER: ‘My interest is to help Merv Wilkinson and Wildwood in any way that I can’

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