Preserve municipal forests, don’t log them
Of the issues that face our valley and should be addressed by candidates, there is one that is not being discussed: What about our municipal forests? Are we going to keep logging what could be our greatest resource: trees left standing as nature preserve, or park, for recreation, tourism, water ways, and as the lungs of our valley?
Last year 80,000 people visited the trails of Mt. Tzouhalem; 35,000 Stoney Hill.
No trees: no trails. No trees: no oxygen.
Plans to increase logging of our municipal forests are in the works for 2019. The allowable amount is 27,000 cubic metres/year (770 logging trucks). In 2017 the profit from $1,151,751 of trees harvested that went to general revenues was $39,049 (3.39 per cent). The profit does not include devaluation of forests as a result of the removal of trees.
After logging there is an exponential proliferation of invasive species. The present budget for invasives is inadequate. Private citizens are pulling broom and tanzie but the situation is unmanageable. Holly and Ivy are moving into our forests, like other forests on the coast, as far south as Oregon, choking out other trees.
At a recent meeting, candidates stated that “times are changing.” In the past, forestry was the financial base of our community but now tourism is taking precedent. The New York Times described our area of Vancouver Island, including the adjoining islands, as one of the most desirable eco-tourist locations in the world. Ask most people why they live and move here; it’s because of nature. What about logging then? Ask yourself and then ask the candidates. Write to council: email@example.com