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Letter: Conservation best choice for municipal forests

Council has moral duty to follow the opinions of a potential citizen majority demanding preservation

Conservation best choice for municipal forests

Dear North Cowichan mayor and council:

Please read Larry’s Pynn’s online letter posted by the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

Here is a revision of what I replied to Mr. Pynn’s letter:

Thanks for your as-always cogent views, Larry. I’m also glad the Citizen posted your timely letter, as our municipal forest review and survey finally gets underway. Indeed, North Cowichan councillors and our staff have a duty to answer questions raised about clearcutting scars, species at risk, our preserved forests’ monetary values, and more.

Local residents also have a duty to fully understand what has been lost and what is at stake in their forest review regarding our municipality’s ecological future.

Council has a moral duty to follow the opinions of a potential citizen majority demanding preservation options in our forest review; to wit, Option 3 (Active Conservation) or 4 (Passive Conservation). Options one and two allowing continued logging (clearcutting) should rightly be rejected by all folks who value nature. Option 3 makes the most sense to allow repair and healing of our forests already cleared — apparently on the back-country to hide embarrassing clearcuts.

I’m delighted our forests are not owned by a corporation. I’m also chuffed with numbers showing our priceless public forests are worth more in carbon values, biodiversity, cultural uses, tourism, and recreation if left standing. To date, North Cowichan has tragically and traditionally sacrified invaluable nature (141 species at risk) for chump change in logging jobs and meagre timber revenues. I look forward to sanity regarding our forests where commercial logging is banned, wardens police timber poaching, and public management is done through conservation-minded foresters.

Thanks councillors for considering all views regarding our crucial municipal forest review.

Yours in conservation,

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

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