The blowdown salvage operations are more like patch clearcuts, say critics. (Icel Dobell photo)

The blowdown salvage operations are more like patch clearcuts, say critics. (Icel Dobell photo)

Stoney Hill and Maple Mountain: blowdown salvage not as advertised

Hundreds of live trees have just been logged on Stoney Hill.

Stoney Hill and Maple Mountain: blowdown salvage not as advertised

Hundreds of live trees have just been logged on Stoney Hill. Eight months of 1,500 citizens asking for pause and consultation. It never happened. My heart is breaking and I’m shaking with anger.

Chris Istace recently documented the unexpected large-scale blowdown salvage on a much loved trail on Maple Mountain He says, “It was the most shocking and saddest actions of logging on the local mountains I had seen done by forestry.”

The other four mountains are next. We’re sending out footage. People on Facebook are angry.

The salvage is not what they told us. It’s not the removal of “damaged timber only” — not even close. The justification is safety for the fallers. But most of it didn’t have to be fallen; all we had to do was get the branches down. The proof is on the ground — or was. It is being removed as fast as possible.

I’m hurrying through the forest trying to document what is going down. People have no idea — including council and the public. We took footage before, will video after — but the process is so destructive to the fragile ecology, is opening up the canopy, ripping up the ground, spreading broom — seedlings all around — about to create an on-going fire risk and public expense beyond most people’s understanding — this part of the story must be documented.

Councillor Sawrie recently took a courageous stand, said she regretted voting for the salvage with no public consultation; she thought it was pulling fallen trees from the roadsides; she didn’t realize it was patch clearcutting. Sawrie said she would not approve any more salvaging until public consultation.

The council chamber full of concerned citizens burst into applause and were silenced. Councillor Justice “verbally applauded” Sawrie. Councillor Marsh gave her support. After eight months of citizens asking for pause of all logging, including salvaging, after Sawrie’s moving speech, it looked like pause of salvaging would actually happen. But it didn’t. Why not? The answer is complex, not “transparent” as promised.

The good news is there is an irrefutable alternative. UBC forest experts recently reported carbon tax credits and not logging could earn revenue comparable to logging. So now there is no justification for logging live trees in the name of “salvaging” natural occurrences like fire and windfall — we would be throwing away future income.

Furthermore, because of invasive species, like broom, gorse and a litany of others that are strangling the native ecosystem, having to replant after logging, the cost of building logging roads, with climate change — drought, erosion, the affect on our watersheds — and many other reasons, to continue clear cut salvaging makes no sense.

Go to WhereDoWeStand.ca for our perspective.

Icel Dobell

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Most Read