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Letter: Info, videos on municipal forest eye-opening

I believe there are two distinct and opposite applications of that term, ‘working forests’

Info, videos on municipal forest eye-opening

I write with respect to our local forests and how they are cared for. I am very encouraged to see Municipality of North Cowichan engaging in public and online information sessions regarding our municipal forest reserve. By all accounts I have read, this MFR is quite rare, indeed. Former councils have taken it upon themselves to bring our local mountains, six of them, under our own governance, including lands ownership. What a concept!

What I am very upset about is learning these mountains have been heavily logged, on their backsides, where cutting models are not clearly visible. What does that make you think? I grew up to learn if we shine a light on a problem, we can work it out. If you can see the problem that is. Former councils gave rather large swath licences to cut fir stands, out of sight, and now not out of mind. Have you seen new and incredibly presented Icel Dobell videos and also plenty of independent drone footage? I have listened to experienced men like Wade Davis. Check it out… It’s rather shockingly eyeopening, moreover what I ever thought I knew.

I look to see our new and energetic MNC Mayor Rob Douglas and councillors carry the work of former elected representatives’ decades long objectives of preservation of our local forests. They can use all this brilliantly researched study about saving air, water and soil quality for species sustainability on earth and having trees maintain it. Trees are now known to actually communicate, and their job is to diffuse heat, store water, keep watersheds and soil intact for flood prevention, provide habitat, effect filtration, aid fire suppression, and assist with carbon capture and air sweeping. There’s way more!

I know plenty of good local folks who grew up and worked in a logging community around here. I understand their fears of loss of logging, road-building, trucking, etc. work and livelihoods. Those jobs aren’t going to all of a sudden stop. I know we need wood products for an enormity of items. I think we need to foster more local value of that wood. I see jobs! I believe industry workers deserve transition help.

I listen to the people who study on this massively important subject, and have a collective consensus about all the planet’s ‘working’ forests and their values. I believe there are two distinct and opposite applications of that term, ‘working forests’. 1. The indiscriminate saw. 2. The trees left to work while standing, for many reasonsI believe we all need to rethink, accept, invent and act upon.

Beverley McKeen

North Cowichan

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