Public encouraged to visit Stoney Hill personally and see for themselves

I have worked in the B.C. coast forest industry for the past 40 years.

Public encouraged to visit Stoney Hill personally and see for themselves

Re: “Letter misrepresents blowdown harvest in forest reserve” by Mayor Al Siebring.

I have worked in the B.C. coast forest industry for the past 40 years. Most recently held a position as logging woods foreman. Having had the opportunity to walk the Stoney Hill reserve and drawing on my experience as a veteran logger I found the article misleading to the facts on the ground.

The picture used does not accurately show the majority of the salvage operation on Stoney Hill. The cut blocks by no means represent a highly selective harvesting process. Basically, they are three patch clear cuts, with retention zones between them. A statement in the article where the contractor estimates that we are only taking out one “live” tree for every 10 to 15 blown down trees. What I saw was more like one blow down tree for every 10 live trees.

Another statement that brings up the issue of disrespecting professional staff and contractor is also not fair. Why should someone with concerns for the community forest not feel free to challenge the status quo without fear of hurting a professional’s feelings? I encourage the public to visit and personally access the Stoney Hill cut blocks. Do not stand by the side of the road, go into the forest. Don’t believe me, don’t believe the mayor, don’t believe Icel Dobell. See for yourself, draw your own conclusion.

Pay attention to the rocky ground conditions that do not allow trees to root well, making them unstable in wind storms. This coupled with patch clear cut will further increase the chance of future blow down. Consider the visual impact, the broom infestation and disturbance to ground water run off for residents living below the reserve.

Gino Gaiga

Lake Cowichan

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