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North Cowichan citizens urged to support conservation in latest consultation on Municipal Forest Reserve

The choice could not be more obvious — or pressing.

Do the citizens of North Cowichan want to continue clearcutting their Municipal Forest Reserve, putting viewscapes, biodiversity and other values at risk?

Or is it time to adopt a new conservation approach, one that allows the Municipality to continue earning revenue from its 5,000 hectares of forest — not revenue from logging, but from carbon credits that allow the forest to remain standing?

The next phase of North Cowichan’s public consultation is about to begin, with citizens asked to weigh in on four management scenarios presented by the UBC Partnership Group: status quo, reduced harvest, active conservation and passive conservation.

Now is the time to get involved.

Attend the Maple Bay firehall for in-person presentations Nov. 30, 3:30 pm and 6 p.m.

Sign up for on-line sessions, December 6 and 12, 6–8 p.m.

Watch for an on-line survey coming soon. You also might be randomly contacted by a polling company.

More info: https://bit.ly/3gjcbcA

The status-quo scenario is based on logging about 17,500 cubic metres of timber per year, which compares with 7,400 cubic metres under reduced harvest.

Active conservation would allow the annual harvest of 1,300 cubic metres — not clearcutting, but for purposes such as restoring/enhancing ecosystem conditions that promote biodiversity — while passive conservation would have no logging.

UBC’s 30-year projection shows that revenues from both conservation options exceed those of logging, evidence of the promising future for carbon credits.

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More: https://www.sixmountains.ca/article/7a549c5f-6df7-4da4-bb4a-dffbb2ea8436

sixmountains.ca is urging citizens to reject the logging scenarios.

Know there are already major clearcuts, including atop Mt. Prevost, just beyond the public view. Continued logging across the forest reserve will only result in more visible scars that last for decades and do little for employment and nothing for nature.

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UBC pulled no punches at the Oct. 4 council meeting, warning that “past harvesting has happened mostly in the backcountry and that was by design by the previous forester. It was easier to harvest in those areas because … it’s not so visible to the public and there’s less people that are concerned about it. Now… there’s not as much of that area left available to harvest, and so if we want to keep continuing to harvest we’re going to have to start shifting that harvest into the front country which is more visible.”

UBC described the forest reserve as part of the “imperilled” coastal Douglas-fir forest in the Georgia Basin. Half of this forest has been converted to human use. More than 80 percent is privately owned, and more than 153 species are at risk.

(Photo and drone video: Mt. Prevost)

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— Larry Pynn, Nov. 17, 2022.

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