The silence is deafening

It’s not too late, a contract has not been awarded.

The silence is deafening

I attended a grassroots rally yesterday at the North Cowichan municipal office, organized in a matter of days. Sixty to 70 people attended, wishing to change North Cowichan elected officials minds: do not remove the necessary blowdown on Stoney Hill.

It’s not too late, a contract has not been awarded.

Not one elected official made themselves available at the rally — public dialogue/consultation is necessary.

Post rally I heard Mayor Siebring speak of the need to remove the woody debris because it’s a fire hazard. He also mentioned beetles being an issue.

This article, one of many readily available online, clearly states the necessity of dead wood (course woody debris) and the various organisms to break down the material.

“Dead wood (coarse woody debris or CWD) is extremely important to the health of the forest, and this is being increasingly recognised by conservationists.”

“There is a breathtaking range of saproxylic (deadwood-dependent) organisms including fungi, lichens, invertebrates, mosses and birds, many of them having very specific requirements, and some specialising exclusively on one particular microhabitat. A remarkable 40 per cent of woodland wildlife is dependent on this aspect of the forest ecosystem.”

Stoney Hill has already been logged and denuded in the 1950s.

Fire liability was raised as an issue. Seems like a red herring to me? Man-made fields of flammable Scotch broom is more of a liability than the necessary woody debris created by mother nature.

It’s May 2019, Stoney Hill is drying out, yet highly flammable broom is thriving. Three foot plants, 20,000 seeds a year covering hectares of Stoney Hill.

Meetings or events I have attended related to Stoney Hill brings out many people calling for a complete pause — no one attending with an opposing view. I’m baffled no opposing view — how can our elected officials not listen and PAUSE?

We ask for a genuine dialogue with our elected officials.

Many believe the next step involves turning up the volume — I hope that we can avoid touching that dial.

Dale Kelly

North Cowichan

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