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Letter: Council must have courage to stand up for conservation

The average net revenue into municipal coffers is $135,000

Council must have courage to stand up for conservation

I would like to thank the editor and publisher for Cowichan Valley Citizen’s opinion on our Six Mountain municipal forest reserve as described in the Nov. 17 edition, headed “Biodiversity Loss”.

The hope that North Cowichan’s new mayor and council will consider the devastation that logging causes to the biodiversity of the unique forests we as taxpayers own vs. the host of natural benefits, if the trees are left standing, which far outweigh the pittance of logging revenue.

During the election campaign Tek Manhas touted the loss of $3 million in logging revenue since logging was stopped, for the forest management review, three years ago. The only truth to this figure is that Manhas used a pre-moratorium gross revenue figure and then assumed each year after would have created a $1 million gross revenue. This misleading information doesn’t include all the expenses deducted from that revenue figure to get to the meaningful figure of net revenue, into the municipal coffers.

The fact of the matter is that since the logging began on our six mountain forest reserve sometime in 1987, the average net revenue into municipal coffers is $135,000. The rest, in my opinion, has been a make work project for a forest department manager that collects a six figure salary, a few logging contractors, silvaculture and tree planting crew and logging road builders.

Compare that actual average net revenue from logging, to taxes on a single family home in North Cowichan and perhaps people will wake up to the fact that our forests are better left to nature.

So I agree with the editor’s opinion, North Cowichan council must decide what is better, stripping the forest landscape into our view or whether nature in all its forms will take precedence.

My hope is that future generations will look back at the wise decision finally made by a municipal council, that had the courage to stand up for conservation.

Bryan Senft

North Cowichan

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