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Future of the forest reserve causes concern and hope

My concern is with the use of the forest reserve funds, built up since the early 1980s.

Future of the forest reserve causes concern and hope

Re: “North Cowichan to dip into reserve funds to cover forestry costs”, (Citizen, Jan. 21, 2021)

This article in the Citizen of Thursday, Jan. 21, causes me concern and gives me hope.

My concern is with the use of the forest reserve funds, built up since the early 1980s. I am concerned that this reserve needs to be replenished soon. Whether this is by the sale of carbon credits, timber, recreational fees, or a combination of the three, I suggest that this continues to be a key component of fiscal and operational planning. Previous Forest Advisory Committees deserve credit for setting up this fund and stewarding it over the years. The immediate past municipal forester deserves credit for growing it.

My hope relates to the submission of a grant application to the Firesmart Community Funding and Supports Program. I suggest that the fire hazard within the municipal forest reserve has not been given the consideration that it needs in the forest review. This application has the potential to reduce the fire hazard on some portions of the municipality (e.g. Hydro transmission lines, Crofton, Maple Bay) and reduce the risk of further depleting the forest reserve.

D. Haley

North Cowichan

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