An inspiring story of citizen action as a community stands up for its forests, its future, and the generations as yet unborn. Protecting the natural capital of home is arguably the single most important thing to be done in confronting the climate crisis. — Wade Davis, author and ethnobotanist.
"Check out this gorgeous video by Icel Dobell of North Cowichan about the huge opportunity they have to protect and regenerate their mature, naturally regenerated second-growth forests. With so little old-growth remaining, these second-growth stands that were logged historically but have regrown naturally are ideal candidates for recruitment to become old-growth in the future. Not all second-growth forests, particularly natural regen, should be sacrificed for clear-cutting. If we want to undo the damage of the past and start to recover old-growth forests, we have to take these forests off the chopping block and allow them to heal and do their work as healthy forests — filtering water, sequestering carbon, providing homes for wildlife and nourishment for human beings. Icel does a fantastic job of articulating the importance of these mature forests in a way that weaves stunning imagery, powerful poetry and useful information together seamlessly." — Daniel Pierce - Heartwood Documentree
"Such great work on behalf of the forests, the creatures, current and future generations of humans. With gratitude." — Susan Williams
"Very well done, Icel. Amazing pictures and a convincing storyline." — Hermann Thoene
"What a beautiful way to engage, educate, and inspire the awakening of personal action. In a time of calls to carry torches of action, through her cinematic story telling, Icel invites us to nurture our own flames within, to know we can each take part to light the path to a better tomorrow." — Mickael Plourde
“Completely inspiring” is how noted author and ethnobotanist Wade Davis describes filmmaker Icel dobell’s third and latest video, Voice of the Unexpected, a call for community to protect the endangered Six Mountain of North Cowichan
"Absolutely brilliant! Thank you Icel Dobell and everyone involved in creating this outstanding film that clearly demonstrates that we are part of the miracle of nature and not separate from it. The importance of protecting and preserving old growth forests and mature tress can not be understated. Stunning visuals and a strong positive message make this a must see and must share." —Frances Litman, Creatively United
"Captivating, visually stunning, this epic storytelling tells us about the Six Mountains and the community that answered the call of nature. Together and in the face of strong opposition, everyone worked to save the forest. This message of warning comes with a ray of hope and empowerment. We can save ourselves. We can save nature. We are one and the same." —Kathleen Code, Forest Advocate
Dobell’s third video in The Sovereignty of the Six Mountains is an historical and allegorical tale of the North Cowichan forest campaign to protect the local forest ecosystems. In Unexpected, Dobell spells out her commitment as an advocate for “The Rights of Nature,” an international movement working to establish the legal personhood and inviolable rights of the increasingly rare ecosystems.
The first stage of public consultation about the highest good of the Six Mountain Forest is done; the second has just begun.
This election will determine whether the last stage of public consultation and the moratorium on logging continue until the Forest Review is completed.
Dobell hopes that Unexpected will serve to encourage people to get out to vote.
Click on the link below to read the Cowichan Valley Citizen article about Voice of the Unexpected.
Excerpts from the article:
Voice of the Unexpected is not what you might expect in a forest documentary… It feels more like a forest fairy tale.
Dobell says the videos are not about tribes and nations, they are about individuals and communities coming together.
“We happen to be from diverse backgrounds, cultures, genders; the differences are superficial,” she said.
“What is real is the love we share for nature, forests, children. What is real is the power we have in North Cowichan, including people of all ancestors, to come together to enact profound change as no other community on the continent. Together, we have a remarkable opportunity to commence a reconciliation with nature. Perhaps by doing this, we may reconcile deeply within and between ourselves.”
Dobell said all people in the Valley can trace their roots back to ancestors who revered nature as all powerful and beyond human possession and succession.
She said there is an international movement to establish the legal personhood and inviolable rights of ecosystems.
“We have the legal right to proclaim the personhood and sovereignty of six mountains of rare, endangered forest ecosystems.”
Dedicated to Fred Parsons.
“A lovely fable, well read, and wonderful language.” —Wade Davis, author and ethnobotanist.
“Lyrical, beautiful, gentle but with a strong message. A modern day Wind In The Willows.” —Kathy Code, Eco forestry advocate.
“Brilliant.” —Richard Hughes, Cowichan Conversations
“A beautiful and evocative video that deserves international attention for its important message that all humanity can relate to.” —Frances Litman, Creatively United For The Planet
“Absolutely beautifully done. Love the magic of the story through poem and film and the children in costumes are a great joy.” —Mickael Plourde, North Cowichan
In February 2022, three years after North Cowichan paused logging of the Six Mountains, and after repeated delays, the public consultation on our Community Forests resumed. Dobell seized this critical moment to release her second short video, The Owl and the Hummingbird, a story aimed at people who want to play their part to protect our children’s future.
Support from Duncan Garage, Cafe and Bakery and Glow Juicery. Hummingbird and squirrel masks by Nancy Wesley Designs. Owl mask by Jasmine Rose.
Dedicated to Fred Parsons.
The Sovereignty of the Six Mountains is a video series about the future of the rare Coastal Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forests of North Cowichan, including Mt. Tzouhalem, Prevost, Stoney Hill, Maple, Richards and Sicker. These endangered forests are unique in Canada, owned not by a private forest company or the provincial government, but by the community; and yet in 2018 few citizens knew this.
That same year, Icel Dobell released Legacy, a video that alerted citizens to the advance of clearcutting coming over the mountains. Legacy went viral locally and a grassroots organization, Where Do We Stand, emerged. Some 1,500 people signed a petition seeking a pause in logging pending public consultation and education from diverse forest experts. Hundreds of citizens showed up at a Council meeting to protest the logging of the Six Mountains.
In February 2019, Council declared a pause in logging, and ordered a public consultation on the highest and best use of the forests.
Dedicated to Ray Travers who devoted his life to the forests.