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Letter: Vote now to protect our community forests

Active conservation is the perfect balance. Here’s why

Vote now to protect our community forests

The survey is online; we can now vote to protect our community forests above our Valley. (We’ve logged the backsides — almost nothing more to log for years.)

In a lifetime, as citizens, we may never again experience such an exciting possibility, to vote to protect our mature forests — our home.

There are four management scenarios — two logging, two conservation. Where Do We Stand is voting for Active Conservation (AC) — and we are so excited about it.

AC reflects community values expressed in the first public consultation: protects recreational areas, maturing forests, water sheds, viewscapes, biodiversity, ecology — and is action on climate change.

AC is the perfect balance. Here’s why:

Financial: In 30 years, it makes millions more in revenue than logging.

Employment: Lots of jobs through thinning, restoring woodlands — culturally significant to the Quw’utsun, repairing streams, reforestation of deciduous, restoration of wildlife habitat, remediation of old logging roads, culverts, ditches, invasives…

Avoids pitfalls of logging: both logging scenarios result in fragmentation, damage to soil, mycelium, roots — leading to erosion, flooding, invasive species, wind channels/blow down.

Protects habitat — 141 species at risk — and our imperilled Coastal Douglas-fir forests.

Fire: minimizes drying; mature trees serve as fire blocks.

Visionary possibilities: Imagine a conservation centre, a college, more jobs, including for the Quw’utsun. Funding through partnerships, universities, federal and provincial programs, the Coastal Douglas-fir Conservation Partnership.

Both logging scenarios will happen in and around our cherished trails — including the Grand Traverse, across from Stoney Hill Regional Park, and other favourites.

So why would we log our home for less revenue and leave tree plantations for our children and future generations?

We have the power to do something inspiring, to pass on a legacy. Please spread the news about the online survey — go to WhereDoWeStand.ca for the link and more information.

Icel Dobell

North Cowichan

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