Time for more enlightened forest management

the meeting’s speakers begged mayor and council for a pause in forestry operations

Time for more enlightened forest management

I attended North Cowichan council chambers on Dec. 19, where many concerned citizens eloquently challenged the existing management regime that governs our municipal forest reserve. By an estimated four-to-one margin, the meeting’s speakers begged mayor and council for a pause in forestry operations and appealed for a review of policies and practices.

Notably included among the speakers was a coterie of naysaying, retired foresters who thought current policies were just fine. During their careers, this fraternity had dutifully served their corporate masters, and mutely acquiesced to the final liquidation of Vancouver Island’s native forests. Commendably, some now step forward to offer their expertise to the community.

But stop and think! Hasn’t our reliance on these established experts often been ill founded? We are still struggling to recover the health of our precious watersheds as a result of industrial-style forestry in the Cowichan, and the cost to the public’s purse for this historic negligence will multiply for generations. Shouldn’t we seek a more enlightened path in shaping municipal forest management?

It is time to consult a new breed of progressive forester who understands the vital importance of biodiversity, the cumulative impacts of poor management, and the holistic balance of all intrinsic values — not least, public trust. It is time to fully enter the 21st Century, acknowledging that the “climate” has changed in every sense.

I join the chorus asking North Cowichan council to pause and conduct a comprehensive review of all municipal forest reserve policies and practices, guided by meaningful consultation with all constituents — many of whom possess a profound knowledge of, and an extraordinary passion for, this community’s shared environment.

Roger Wiles

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Turning right at a Sechelt four-way-stop

Passing on the right is forbidden in this circumstance but that does not stop many drivers.

Robert Barron column: Let’s hear it for the kids

The students I talked to at the event came from numerous schools

Cowichan transgender woman hosting Gender Identity Expression Day

“We need to have a public conversation about this.”

Andrea Rondeau column: Chemainus Theatre Festival a unique, surprising venue

Not many towns the size of Chemainus can boast a year-round professional theatre

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Most Read