Shawnigan Basin Society would like to add Rat Lake forest to public lands

Overwhelming evidence that being immersed in nature is good for our physical and mental health.

Shawnigan Basin Society would like to add Rat Lake forest to public lands

Re: Rat Lake Trail and placing more forests and wetlands under public trust

There is overwhelming evidence that being immersed in nature is good for our physical and mental health. It was very disappointing to find that the CVRD had closed the walking trail around Rat Lake in Mill Bay because of some disagreement with Mosaic Forest Management.

Because of this closure on March 12, Area A Director Blaise Salmon facilitated a meeting between the Mill Bay/Malahat Community Parks Advisory Commission and Domenico Iannidinardo, vice president and chief forester of Mosaic Forest Management. At this meeting Mr. Iannidinardo agreed that Mosaic will allow the public to access this trail and, furthermore, that Mosaic would clear the obstructions the CVRD placed on the trail to prevent public access. The obstructions on the trail have been cleared for a while now and the trail is again accessible to the public. I thank Mr. Iannidinardo for facilitating this.

We are in a state of climate crisis and species diversity collapse. There are already phase 1 water restrictions in effect in many parts of the Cowichan Valley. Ecologists state that for the health of our climate, our aquifers and for species diversity one needs to set aside at the very minimum 30 per cent of our forests, grasslands and wetlands. Mosaic owns 620.5 acres of forest surrounding Rat Lake and Mr. Iannidinardo, in response to a question, stated that Mosaic might consider selling this forest, thereby allowing it to be placed in the public trust.

One of the objectives of the Shawnigan Basin Society is to increase the amount of forest and wetlands under public trust. If you are interested in this objective and would like to participate in pursuing this objective, whether in Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill or elsewhere in the Cowichan Valley, please contact the Shawnigan Basin Society at: admin@shawniganbasinsociety.org

Bernhard H.J. Juurlink

Mill Bay

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