These Douglas fir logs were recently found poached on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/

These Douglas fir logs were recently found poached on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/

More trees being poached from North Cowichan’s forest reserve

Stoney Hill is latest illegal cutting site

Anyone caught illegally removing trees from North Cowichan’s 5,000-hectare municipal forest reserve could face criminal charges, according to Mayor Al Siebring.

The warning comes after the municipality was alerted to recent illegal logging activities in the MFR on Stoney Hill, the latest in a number of such cases in the forest reserve since the new year.


Shaun Mason, North Cowichan’s municipal forester, confirmed there were two large red cedar trees that appear to have been illegally taken recently in Stoney Hill, along with some Douglas fir trees in a small blow-down area nearby.

Mason said there is no authorized cutting currently taking place in Stoney Hill, or anywhere else in the MFR.

“Anyone found unlawfully cutting down trees in the forest reserve could face criminal charges for the theft of municipal assets, as well as trespassing,” Siebring said.

“With the price of lumber these days, if many of these trees are taken down, cut in eight-feet lengths and milled into boards, they would be worth a lot of money. We’re increasing our patrols in the reserve, and there are police files on this and the other illegal logging cases there. We’re also exploring the possibility of having a police presence in the reserve.”

The illegal logging on Stoney Hill was discovered by Larry Pynn, a veteran environmental journalist and author from Maple Bay who founded, a website dedicated to providing information about logging in the MFR.


He said he first discovered the illegal cutting sites on Stoney Hill by accident and notified the municipality.

“Tragically, the cutting of the cedars on Stoney Hill is not an isolated incident,” Pynn said.

“[On April 28], I found two more cedar stumps, this time on Mount Prevost. The largest had a diameter of about 2.5 feet. I encourage the municipality to increase the fines for wood poaching in the forest reserve and to consider posting a reward for information leading to the conviction of these poachers. I’d be the first to donate money.”

Municipal forestry staff started seeing trees illegally cut down in a number of small and separate areas of the reserve around the Chemainus area, as well as near Mount Prevost and Mount Sicker, in January.

Other areas in the forest reserve where trees have been taken down have been discovered since then.

Mason said that in response to the recent timber theft, North Cowichan staff have begun a number of initiatives to try and deal with the illegal activity.

The include daily patrols of the reserve, installing signage where required, investigating any reports of illegal activity received from the public, continuing to work with the RCMP, reviewing fines associated with such activities in consultation with legal counsel, and exploring options for using video surveillance in the reserve.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Nurses at the Cowichan District Hospital are thanking the community for following the health protocols during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured from left are nurses Jacqueline Kendall, Melissa Bustard and Heidi Ferris. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Pandemic year like no other, Cowichan nurses say

May 10-16 is National Nursing Week

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Most Read