Posing Naked to Save Island

Some high-profile Canadian spouses are among 35 women to pose naked for a calendar to try to save their pristine Pacific Coast island from logging.

Andrea Collins, former wife of rock star Phil Collins, Birgit Bateman, wife of renowned painter Robert Bateman, and Denise McCann, wife of musician Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive and Guess Who fame, hope to raise money to buy some of the trees before they are cut down.

The calendar is the latest in a series of initiatives by the 9,000 island residents to stop Texada Land Corp. from logging a large chunk of Saltspring Island, 31 miles southwest of Vancouver.

“If the logging goes ahead it will be a wasteland,” said calendar model Mallory Pred, 63.

Pred hopes the decision to bare all for the “Saltspring Women Preserve and Protect calendar” will also raise awareness of the issue. “To be naked is to be vulnerable just as our trees are,” she said.

The photos, taken by a retired fashion photographer who now lives on the island, are all tastefully done with the youngest model being 18 and the oldest 74.

“What I love about this calendar is all the women are pictured in relation to the natural surroundings, which is what we are trying to save,” said Pred, who is pictured in a forest of Douglas firs.

Housing Development Planned

Texada bought about 4,448 acres on the island and property on nearby Vancouver Island in November from German millionaire Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, widow of the late Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis.

The privately held company’s plan calls for logging the area over the next three years and then selling the land for housing development. It has also pledged to donate 500 acres for a park.

Texada is said in media reports to value the land and timber at approximately $40 million (U.S. dollars) but island residents have so far raised only around $475,000 to buy what they see as the most ecologically sensitive areas slated for development.

Cutting is already under way and anti-logging protests have resulted in the arrest of nine people.

Pred, the mother of two grown boys, said she has received nothing but positive feedback from family and friends.

“The youngest son was very supportive. He thought it was a great idea. The oldest, well, he was a bit more lukewarm about the idea but he lives in California so doesn’t have to look at it,” Pred said.

The calendars go on sale at the end of this month at approximately $13.50 each.