Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

BC forest company sets example for North Cowichan by deferring logging, opting for sale of carbon credits.

If a major forest company can do it, so can the Municipality of North Cowichan.

That’s the take-away message from the announcement that Mosaic Forest Management — BC’s biggest holder of private forest lands — is deferring logging on 40,000 hectares to pursue the sale of carbon credits.

The logging deferral covers an area eight times larger than the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve and will be in effect for at least 25 years.

“By removing old forest from the company’s baseline harvest plan, Mosaic will increase carbon storage and avoid future greenhouse gas emissions from logging operations,” the Nanaimo-based company said in a news release dated March 16.

“This reduction in…emissions will be packaged into high-quality nature-based carbon credits to be available for sale to reputable organizations to help them achieve their net-zero commitments."

The carbon credits will be available through the BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative — generating revenue for Mosaic, with a portion of the proceeds flowing to the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Innovation Program. (https://bit.ly/3LOGrpw)

Mosaic provided sixmountains.ca with the following list of deferrals: "The areas on Mosaic Forest Management’s private land include the McLaughlin Ridge, Cameron Valley Firebreak, Cathedral Grove Canyon, lands adjacent to MacMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove) and Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Part near Port Alberni, the Lower Gordon Valley and San Juan Valleys near Port Renfrew, Youbou, Mount Holmes, Koksilah Grove, the old forest along the Sooke River among many other locations."

The initiative offers a potential new path for North Cowichan, which is in the midst of two consultations — one with the public, the other with First Nations — on the future of the Municipal Forest Reserve, also known as the Six Mountains.

A consultant’s report commissioned by North Cowichan recently revealed that citizens overwhelmingly support values other than logging, including biodiversity, water protection, recreation, ecology, old-growth and viewscapes.

The UBC Partnership Group — UBC forestry, 3Green Tree Consulting, and Coastal Douglas-Fir Conservation Partnership — will be presenting forest management options soon for the public’s consideration.

The sale of carbon credits as a way to generate revenue from a standing forest is expected to be part of these options.

The coastal Douglas-fir forest is the most at-risk forest type in BC and overlaps the Municipal Forest Reserve — one reason why carbon credits from the reserve are expected to be more attractive to buyers.

Further reading: https://bit.ly/36TC8e8

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— Larry Pynn, April 6, 2022

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg