Logging companies have dealt with all manner of environmental activism over the years. Tree-protecting protesters have chained themselves to fences and equipment, driven spikes into tree trunks and even lived in trees for months on end. But in British Columbia, a lumber company now must deal with an entirely new form of logging protest: the bare breasts of the woman once married to rock musician Phil Collins.
By exposing her nipples, Andrea Collins hopes to stop the logging of Saltspring Island, a community of pristine forest 33 miles southwest of Vancouver, B.C. This unorthodox plan centers on the publication of a calendar that features Canadian women posing nude in the great outdoors. In addition to the ex-Mrs. Collins, other famous anti-logging breasts include those of Birgit Bateman, wife of painter Robert Bateman, and Denise McCann, wife of musician Randy "Takin' Care of Business" Bachman.
According to news reports, the nudie shots were taken by a retired fashion photographer who lives on Saltspring Island, and includes 35 naked women (a total of 70 breasts) aged 18 to 74. The "Saltspring Women Preserve and Protect Calendar" is the latest scheme by island residents to halt the logging by Texada Land.
One 63-year-old model named Mallory Pred hopes the calendar will not only raise money, but awareness for the issue. "To be naked is to be vulnerable just as our trees are," Pred told reporters. "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."
Unfortunately, the protesters are far from their goal at this point. The Texada logging corporation has purchased about 1,800 hectares (4,448 acres) on the island, as well as property on nearby Vancouver Island, with intent to log the area and then sell the land for housing development. Cutting has already begun in some areas. The land and timber is worth $60 million (Canadian dollars), according to Texada, but so far the protestors have raised only $700,000 to buy the most ecologically sensitive areas.
In other words, if Canadians hope to preserve the pristine forests of British Columbia, they'd better increase their fascination with the bare breasts of celebrities. The calendars go on sale at the end of August for $19.95.
Although she's the mother of two grown boys, Pred is proud to say that her family's feedback has been positive about Mom posing bare-assed in the forest. "The youngest son was very supportive," she said. "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."