North Cowichan’s council has endorsed plans for the harvesting of blown-down timber in its municipal forest reserve. (File photo)

North Cowichan endorses harvesting of blow-down trees reserve

But citizen’s group wants more information

North Cowichan’s council has endorsed the recommendations of the municipality’s forest advisory committee to harvest trees that blew down or were heavily damaged during the recent windstorm in parts of the municipal forest reserve.

The recommendations are specific to Stoney Hill, Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain.

Blowdown assessments on Mount Richards, Mount Sicker, and Mount Prevost are delayed due to the recent snowfall and will continue as the snow melts.

But Icel Dobell, a member of the Where do We Stand group that was formed to promote a cessation of logging in the forest reserve’s 5,000 hectares, said council’s decision on the blow down was rushed and more professional input is required.

“Council was advised that some of the blow down areas won’t be accessible without major road-building and other work — those areas will be left alone,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

“However, it’s important to clear out the blow downs where we can to keep the forest reserve as safe as possible for public use, and to reduce wildfire risk.”

Siebring said salvage methods will incorporate mitigations to protect various environmental and biophysical values, including soil conservation, biological diversity, recreation, and forest health.

At a special meeting on Feb. 15, council considered options for forestry operations within the municipal forest reserve in 2019, and endorsed just the completion of existing 2018 forestry contracts and harvesting of blow downs from the windstorm in December.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN TO PAUSE ALL LOGGING IN FOREST RESERVE FOR 2019

Siebring said at the time that council decided to minimize logging in the forest reserve until experts are tapped for their input and the public has been thoroughly consulted on what people want for the future of the public properties.

But Dobell said the WDWS has sent a letter to council expressing concerns by citizens writing in to WDWS about a number of issues.

She said that one of them is that many felt there was inadequate time for the public and council to be made aware of the blow-down item on the council agenda, therefore there was no public participation.

Dobell said there was also not enough time for council to assimilate the 25-page report from the forest advisory council.

RELATED STORY: CONCERNED CITIZENS AIM TO PROTECT N. COWICHAN FOREST RESERVE FROM LOGGING

“Furthermore, the report did not reflect the broad range of ecological concerns presented by two new FAC members appointed to balance the conventional/commercial logging perspective,” she said.

“The public and council must be given the opportunity to hear from experts from an ecological and ecosystem-based forestry background about the need for an ecological assessment of the harvest. Council has demonstrated its commitment to public participation. We are pausing to hear where they stand.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Business notes: Realtors raise $10,000 for Nourish Cowichan

The latest from Cowichan’s business community

North Cowichan mayor answers questions about new RCMP detachment

The current building went up in 1980, when there were 30 people working there.

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

Man dies at temporary Duncan tent site for homeless

First Nations man died at The Mound site

UPDATE: Military reservist facing 22 charges after allegedly ramming gates at Rideau Hall

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

Most Read