Change of forest practice does not mean unemployment

We are in a different era from anything we’ve known before.

Change of forest practice does not mean unemployment

Re: Municipal forestry has big spinoffs in community

Yes, harvesting trees from the North Cowichan municipal forest has given our community a long-time measure of good. But it is dangerous to think that economic benefits of clear-cutting overrule environmental impact. We are in a different era from anything we’ve known before.

Today we experience floods, then recurring droughts. Low river flows; salmon cannot return to the river to spawn. Extreme wind storms, rain storms. No snowpack. Forest fires. Low air quality, increased health costs.

Though the current status-quo system of producing trees through mini-plantations has been deemed practical and profitable in the past, positive, well thought out adaptation to conditions around us is wise and central to survival. Despite how much something has benefited us in the past, it is dangerous to apply yesterday’s thinking to today’s extreme challenges.

Doing things differently from the past does not mean that we as a community will no longer benefit from decent-wage jobs, employed teachers, sawmills or retail jobs in a thriving community. Adapting to the reality of today and reshaping our forestry practices will present us with possibilities for the future, benefitting our community with healthier forests and our children with trades and livelihoods relative to a healthy forest and a healthy environment.

How would changing forest practices to include more mature forest benefit our community? A 2017 study by Toronto Dominion Economics and Nature Conservancy Canada determined that a lack of the “ecological services” of mature forests cost society from $5,800 to $46,000 per hectare of forest each year. Ecological services include “mitigation of floods and droughts, detoxification and decomposition of wastes, generation and renewal of soil and natural vegetation, pollination of crops and natural vegetation, control of the vast majority of potential agricultural pests, dispersal of seeds and translocation of nutrients, maintenance of biodiversity, protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, partial stabilization of climate, moderation of temperature extremes and the force of winds and waves, support of diverse human culture, and providing aesthetic beauty and intellectual stimulation that lift the human spirit”.

Let’s rethink the purpose of our forest reserve. A change of practice does not mean unemployment. Let’s work toward reward of richness of ecological services in our Valley!

Miyo Stevens

Cowichan Valley

Just Posted

Why “Weir” Ready: with Dr. Shannon Waters

This is part one of a feature series by the Cowichan Watershed Board

Robert Barron column: A Canadian hero I wish I had talked to

Almost nobody was there on that cold Newfoundland day when Terry Fox started his run

Caps improve to 3-0

Lynn and Arquiett score two each as Caps double up Chiefs

Carving in Cowichan provided road to recovery for stroke victim

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to get out of bed or walk, let alone carve”

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read