The phrase “Walking Softly in the Wilderness”, has always been a guiding principal for the lifestyle, and approach to developing Paddlers Inn; although sometimes we do make some noise.
The primary purpose of Paddlers Inn is to provide people with safe and comfortable access to experiences in a wilderness environment, so that the connection between nature and self is nourished, hopefully leading to individual fulfillment, and environmental stewardship.
Bruce spent most of his adult springs & falls (no pun intended), planting trees, hundreds of thousands of them, in BC’s beleaguered forest lands, seeking employment that contributed to the environment, rather than exploiting it. He planted, managed, and eventually ran his own silviculture contracting company, offering high quality, pesticide free, forestry management, and high paying job opportunities for locals.
The homestead and guest buildings have been built over a lifetime, using local kayak salvaged drift logs that have been milled here by Billy Proctor.
Some buildings are new, and there are several buildings, and some materials that have been re-purposed. The main homestead building was built in the early 1900’s, and the Float house Lodge used to be the community church called Living Waters Chapel.
We have been recycling forever, and are pleased that we can now drop materials off in the North Island, rather than hauling it all down-island as we have done for decades. Our main building is solar powered, and many of our tools are battery rechargeable, and so we only run a small generator when we absolutely need to. We cherish the quiet of nature, as well as the thundering storms…
We do shop organic, sustainable, and as local as possible, even if it costs a bit more, to support our north island economy and community, and we try to avoid purchasing anything that is environmentally toxic. We use as little fuel as we possibly can, and all of the cleaning products we use are environmentally friendly & biodegradable.
As the Inn has become more financially viable, we have looked for ways to improve our facility, as well as share our revenue with other people and projects that could use assistance.
We agree with the concept of “1% for the planet” and that donating 1% (of our gross income) directly to organizations that do “environmentally positive work” is a great idea, and so we look for organizations that we would like to assist, there are so many to choose from! Supporting us helps us “pay it forward” to these great organizations.
There are so many issues before us, and so many organizations that need our support, financial and hands on! In 2020 Bruce planned, financed, presented, and billeted speakers from The Sierra Club & the Wilderness Committee to join him in offering a public meeting in Sointula to discuss the unfortunate and unsustainable forestry practices in BC.
In 2021 during a province-wide day of “action” Bruce performed a “healing ceremony” on the steps of the Port McNeill Forest Service Office. Bruce also spends many hours writing and calling Gov’t representatives and forestry officials to voice his concerns.
In 2021 Bruce began offering Jin Shin Do acupressure & Hakomi Body-mind counselling sessions at the near-by First Nations village, which was well received, and hopefully becomes an ongoing relationship. Cash and/ or in-kind support has been provided to the following organizations in 2021:
Advocating for and creating public access to all of BC’s coastline [for non-powered craft]. www.bcmarinetrails.org
Sierra Club BC inspires generations to defend nature and confront climate change, so families, communities and the natural world can prosper together. https://sierraclub.bc.ca/
Together, we’re working tirelessly to protect life giving biological diversity in Canada through strategic research and grassroots public education. https://www.wildernesscommittee.org/
Clayoquot Action is a Tofino-based conservation society committed to protecting the biocultural diversity of Clayoquot Sound. Our goals are accomplished through public education, citizen research and monitoring, and advocacy. Clayoquot Action stands for democratic rights, Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth. www.https://clayoquotaction.org/
This is the movement to stop the logging of intact ancient forests in Fairy Creek, on Vancouver Island, where more than 1100 people have been arrested and abused by industry motivated police forces, who are acting against the wishes of the people, governments failed promise’s, and common sense in a climate crisis…Funds are being used to support on-the-ground actions as well as on going legal actions and costs. https://fundrazr.com/last_stand_for_forests?ref=ab_4AJXQ4_ab_a4m
This is a First Nations action by hereditary chiefs toward self governance and autonomy, to stop oil & gas exploitation in their territory, in the face of Canadian militarized police action, UNDRIP, and our current climate crisis. http://www.https:yintahaccess.com
This non-profit independent journalism organisation is one of the best for reporting on important [environmental and social rights] issues for Canadians. http://www.https://thenarwhal.ca
In 2021 Bruce hired a “housekeeper” to help operate the lodge, paying her well above what is considered a “normal” wage, and topped that up with a substantial financial bonus. If Covid has taught us one thing, it’s what are actually our “essential services”, and are they compensated appropriately.
In 2021 Bruce tried whenever possible to give the lodge refundable recyclables to people who he recognized as “dumpster divers” looking for refundable’s in Port McNeill. They sure appreciated this, and after awhile he realized who needed the help, and who we’re perhaps less in need, and at the same time realized that it’s way easier for Bruce to return the refundable’s and then just give the money, [making sure it’s at least $20], to the person who most visibly looks peacefully in need… that’s direct action!