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Letter: Forestry profit analysis for public consumption

Times have changed, our climate has changed, the modernizations of the past are outdated

Forestry profit analysis for public consumption

The following figures have been taken from the Annual Forestry Reports from the North Cowichan Municipal Website.

https://www.northcowichan.ca/assets/Departments/Forestry/docs/2018%20Forestry%20Annual%20Report.pdf

It seems councillors of the past beginning in 1982 were convinced that due to the loss of good trees to cut and sell they had to modernize the logging operation to make more efficient use of our mountain forests and convert them to monoculture tree farms. They claimed it was for the benefit of future generations.

From 1987-2018 before any expenses for the forestry management review the net average profit over 32 years has been $128,286.

In six years out of the 32 the management went into the red for a total of $370,258.

For the period 1987-2018, 32 years:

Net revenue $20,673,117; yearly average $646,035

Net profit $4,105,144; yearly average $128,286

Average annual profit 2014-2018:

$314,449

Average annual profit allocation to the general revenue account $137,136. This is the account that is supposed to help reduce our taxes. The remainder of the profits are allocated to reserve funds and not used to reduce our taxes.

Within the five year annual gross revenue reports before expenses is a line item, rental (cell tower) this average annual rental has been $86,700. In my opinion the rental income is artificially shoring up the forestry revenue. Without it the five year average annual profit would have been $227,749. This rental income should, in my opinion, have gone directly to general revenue and has had nothing to do with the business of logging.

The average annual logging expenses over the five years has cost $517,749. What we got to help reduce general municipal expenses was $137,136.

Times have changed, our climate has changed, the modernizations of the past are outdated and we must again modernize our forest management to one based on conservation. Even Mosaic, the large island logging company, is setting aside large areas of its forest land to conservation and revenue generating carbon sequestration credits. They see the obvious benefit of leaving the trees standing vs. cutting them down.

Considering the region’s people who are all effected by what North Cowichan decides about the mountain forests, much like the cost sharing of the recreational facilities, there are 34,744 households in the CVRD. Hypothetically, if each household had $3.95 added to their tax bill it would take care of this paltry sum we get from this tree killing, environment, biodiversity, animal, bird and insect robbing, colonialist exploitation of our mountain forests.

Add another $5, or the cost of a fast food hamburger, to our tax bills and we can easily bring our forests under a conservation management plan that will rejuvenate our forests to the point we can not only receive millions in carbon credits but also protect and leave these very organs of nature to our children and grandchildren.

Bryan Senft

North Cowichan

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