BC grant covers $100,000 cost of management plan for North Cowichan forest reserve
The estimated $100,000 cost of developing a new management plan for the Municipal Forest Reserve will be covered by a $500,000 provincial grant, Mayor Rob Douglas said Thursday.
Douglas told sixmountains.ca that in addition to footing the bill for the forest management plan, the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program grant will be used to determine how to service industrial lands currently not serviced, as well as to fund the work of an Economic Development Committee.
He acknowledged that consultation into the future of the Municipal Forest Reserve — also known as the Six Mountains — has taken longer than expected.
Council placed a moratorium on new logging pending a consultation in 2019.
The public consultation has found overwhelming support for conservation values rather than continued status-quo logging in the forest reserve.
The municipality hopes to hear back from the UBC Partnership Group in late June or July on forest management scenarios based on results of the public consult.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be well on our way with the forest management plan later this year,” Douglas said. “However, I say that with the caveat that the project has obviously been stretched out a lot longer than any of us anticipated when we embarked on this review.”
Parallel closed talks between North Cowichan staff and local First Nations have not occurred as quickly as planned. But Douglas said he understands “they’re going to be meeting more on a regular basis going forward.”
He said he’d also like to see a face-to-face meeting between elected officials from North Cowichan and Quw’utsun Nation.
Read more: https://www.sixmountains.ca/article/7f9797cf-4967-4531-a9da-d66ba632cc11
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— Larry Pynn, May 25, 2023