Open Letter to James Cameron: Please help save a little Pandora in Ottawa: the Beaver Pond Forest

This is a message we are trying to get to James Cameron. If you know how to reach him, please let me know!!!

Many Thanks,



2 Jan 2011

Dear Mr. Cameron,

Thank you for your film Avatar, and your subsequent work to support Indigenous people’s struggles to protect our Earth.   This is to ask if you would be willing to save a little Pandora right in Ottawa: the Beaver Pond Forest part of the South March Highlands.

The South March Highlands is home to 18 species at risk, 679 species total, and is designated as a Provincially Significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).  10,000 years ago, the South March Highlands and Gatineau Park were the two high points, two islands, not submerged below the inland Champlain sea.  This is why it is the most likely place for archaeological finds and for sites sacred to First Nations peoples.

It now belongs to KNL, a partnership of Urbandale and Richcraft.  They are determined to clear cut and blow it up by the second week of January to build a subdivision.

Anishinabek (Algonquin) Elders have asked that a proper Archaeological assessment to be done in the Spring given the recent find of a possible stone medicine wheel.  The South March Highlands – Carp River Conservation Inc has also identified many problems with inadequate Environmental Assessments and Storm Water Management Plans.

No one disputes the land is the most ecologically valuable near Ottawa.  But the City of Ottawa doesn’t want to pay for the mistakes over the years that have allowed this land to be zoned for development.  Nor does City Council appear to have the will be halt development by insisting that the Archaeological and Environmental Assessments be redone.  Our appeals to the National Capital Commission, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and Heritage Canada have so far fallen on deaf ears.

We have fought for years to save this land.  Some of us for 3 decades!  But we are running out of options.  The community does want to buy the Beaver Pond Forest, but we don’t have time to raise the funds.  KNL/Urbandale is not a willing seller, but they must have a price.  Would you be willing to purchase the land?  It would be a tiny percentage of Avatar’s profits, very well spent!  And we have a Stewardship Plan and Business Plan for the Forest, so the community could also arrange for this to be a loan that we repay to you.

For more information, my coordinates are below, as well as links to websites.

Thank you, and Happy UN Year of Forests.  Saving what should become Ottawa’s Great Forest would be a great way to start the year!

Kind Regards,


Julie Comber

PhD Candidate

University of Ottawa

More information

Stewardship Plan:

Need for a proper Archaeological Assessment:

Missing Environmental Assessments:

One community group:

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