Golden opportunity on our forests

What an initiation for a new mayor and a predominantly new council

Golden opportunity on our forests

What an initiation for a new mayor and a predominantly new council; the largest turnout of people at a council meeting ever seen in the Valley. North Cowichan council has been swamped with public input about the management of the municipal forests. How fitting then that on April 17 council received a letter from Dr. Peter Arcese, UBC’s professor of forest renewal, regarding a proposed collaboration on “Developing Forest Management Plans to Achieve Shared Goals.”

Mayor and council welcomed the opportunity and on June 5 Dr. Steven Sheppard addressed council on “Community Engagement on Forest Activities & Engagement in General.” Dr. Sheppard presented four or five models of public engagement used successfully in other B.C. communities.

They also invited the UBC Conservation Group to address the Forest Advisory Committee. On June 17, a delegation of three UBC professors presented “Forests to Sustain Economies & People” to the committee.

Dr. Arcese gave an overview and cited examples from all across B.C. of successful collaborative forestry management models.

Dr. Verena Griess, professor in Forest Resource Management, cited the many ways forests are of value; aesthetics, timber, tourism, biodiversity, soil retention, to name a few.

Dr. Brad Seely, UBC research associate on the Faculty of Forestry, presented the economics of carbon offset sales which can range from $10-40/ton, potentially generating greater revenue than timber harvesting.

The cost for the initial phase of consultation would be $10-$15,000 and could be done relatively quickly.

There were a couple of FAC members who were appreciative and showed enthusiasm. There was no discussion about the many possibilities they presented and only a couple of questions about carbon offset sales.

I am honored that our community and its forests have been recognized and offered support by the UBC Faculty of Forestry. We have no say over logging on private land which is occurring on Vancouver Island at the alarming rate of three sq. meters per second or 34 soccer fields a day. However, our local government is considering a new Forestry Management Plan. We have the opportunity to prioritize watershed protection, biodiversity and recreation as goals along with revenue. Please write to the Municipality of North Cowichan and urge them to vote for collaboration with the UBC Faculty of Forestry at the Special Council meeting on July 8.

This is a golden opportunity, with impeccable timing, and I think encouragement is in order.

Martha Lescher

Duncan

Just Posted

Duncan city council declares climate change emergency

“I think sometimes it’s important to start with identifying the fact that something’s real.”

Andrea Rondeau column: Second chance for dogs in Duncan bylaw a good idea

I’m not usually timid around animals, big or small.

Drivesmart column: Electronic monitoring pilot projects already underway

Our current system of trying to change driver behaviour largely consists of traffic tickets

Robert Barron column: Hats off to humanitarian workers

Saurazas didn’t seem to be fazed very much by the peril she was exposed to

Cowichan Valley jazz graduate wins prestigious scholarship

Bassist Brock Meades and drummer Graham Villette get $2,000 Fraser MacPherson Scholarship

Duncan Grande Parade draws a crowd

Entries old and new enjoyed by a big audience

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read