Discharge from the Town of Lake Cowichan’s sewage-treatment facility is being investigated as a potential factor in a fish die-off in the Cowichan River last summer.
The president of Cowichan Search and Rescue is making sweeping suggestions for reducing the risk of drowning on the Cowichan River.
North Cowichan’s top fire official is resigning in the wake of a report citing firefighter concerns with how the department is run, sixmountains.ca has learned.
As water flows on the Cowichan River continue to drop, a rescue mission is underway to “salvage” salmon and trout fry stranded in isolated pools and side channels.
Effective Thursday, North Cowichan will close the gates and prohibit motorized public access to three areas within the Municipal Forest Reserve — Mount Prevost, Mount Sicker and Grace Road — until further notice.
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.
Consultations with First Nations on the Municipal Forest Reserve will be a “long-term project” based on a “new reality,” Chief Administrative Officer Ted Swabey has told North Cowichan council.
A newly appointed Environmental Advisory Committee featuring extensive First Nations experience met for the first time on Tuesday at North Cowichan municipal hall.
It was sad to hear of Gordon Lightfoot’s death May 1 at age 84. It got me listening to his music again. A passage from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, based on a shipping tragedy on Lake Superior, caught my ear: “The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down, of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee.”
North Cowichan councillor Christopher Justice is asking council to investigate the ecological impacts of recreational trails in the municipality, be they for mountain bikers, hikers, or horse enthusiasts.
North Cowichan and local First Nations are not meeting the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to consultation on the Municipal Forest Reserve.
The public would continue to not have the right to lodge complaints against council members under a revised Standards of Conduct policy being recommended by North Cowichan municipal staff.
It has now been well over 1.5 years since North Cowichan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with “Cowichan Nation” on August 17, 2021, regarding the Municipal Forest Reserve.
The Duncan-North Cowichan sewage-treatment facility on Marchmont Road has once again been cited by the province for a slew of environmental infractions, a review of provincial compliance-and-enforcement files by sixmountains.ca reveals.
North Cowichan is within its rights to not publicly release details of a standards-of-conduct complaint against former councillor Joyce Behnsen, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has ruled.
Tree removal related to a wildfire-mitigation program underway on Mount Tzouhalem/Shquw’utsun in North Cowichan will disrupt public access to some trails over the next several weeks.
Evi Mustel provides a simple analogy for the seemingly complex field of statistically valid surveys.
For a council meeting to take place in North Cowichan, a quorum, or majority, is required. That means at least four of the seven council members must be present.
The consultants’ report on the final phase of public consultation on North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve is chock-full of interesting stats and numbers — notably, 76-per-cent support for conservation management.
Failed mayoral candidate John Koury received a high $20,961.00 in contributions in the 2022 municipal election campaign in North Cowichan, Elections BC data shows.
Kudos to North Cowichan council for unanimously approving a motion requiring that the authors of letters appearing on the consent agenda be made public.
As a well-known and opinionated columnist in the Cowichan Valley for years, Don Maroc wasn’t one to pull his punches.
Homes on the slopes of Mt. Prevost, Maple Mountain and Mt. Richards ‘might become quite desirable’
We’ve come to identify North Cowichan’s 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve as the Six Mountains — Prevost, Sicker, Richards, Maple, Tzouhalem, and Stoney Hill.
Scheme viewed as a faster way to earn revenue than waiting for poorly harvested forest to recover
North Cowichan has published an article ostensibly to encourage public participation in a consultation process on the Municipal Forest Reserve — but which comes off as a plug for status-quo logging.
Its name is a handful — the Coastal Douglas-fir (& Associated Ecosystems) Conservation Partnership.
Debra Toporowski — a member of Cowichan Tribes — has the potential to cast a decisive vote on a split North Cowichan council..
It’s been an ugly political campaign these last several weeks in the race for a seat on North Cowichan council — with the future direction of the municipality at stake.
One seldom gets clarity at all-candidates meetings where those seeking public office put their best foot forward, soft pedal their failings, and typically avoid acknowledgement of any hard-line positions that might alienate voters.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring’s complaint against Councillor Kate Marsh should have been resolved informally long ago and not reached the stage of a full-blown legal investigation, Councillor Rob Douglas told council on Wednesday.
Mosaic Forest Management says it is willing to partner with municipalities — including North Cowichan — private landowners and First Nations who are interested in preserving forest lands through the sale of carbon credits.
Richard Hughes — the social activist and outspoken former long-serving regional district director — has finished his career on his own terms.
The province paid more than $800,000 to fight last summer’s Copper Canyon wildfire on Mosaic private forestlands, a freedom-of-information request by sixmountains.ca reveals.
Logging-related revenue and jobs do not even rank within the top-10 list of what citizens value most about the Municipal Forest Reserve, a consultant’s report for North Cowichan council reveals.
When forestry ribbons start showing up on trees, you have to think the chainsaws aren’t far behind. When those ribbons are spotted during a pause in logging in North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve, it can be especially troubling.
The BC Forest Discovery Centre is conducting a review of its operations in response to concerns that the Forests Forever exhibit — funded by forest companies — offers a one-sided view of forestry in the province.
Organizers are calling this year’s Christmas Bird Count a success, despite enduring some of the most challenging and diverse weather in years, including rain, cold, wind, driving snow, and, yes, sunshine and rainbows.
RCMP and municipal bylaw staff converged on a gravel logging road in North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve this week after receiving a public complaint about potential tree poaching.
North Cowichan taxpayers are not expected to pay a dime as a result of a legal challenge by Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit over the Municipality’s refusal to allow expansion of the controversial operation.
Skutz Falls on the Cowichan River is impressive enough at this time of the year as salmon fight their way upstream against rain-swollen waters.
The paint on a memorandum of understanding signed between North Cowichan and First Nations is barely dry, yet it is already showing some wear.
North Cowichan council approved a staff report Thursday aimed at producing a Biodiversity Protection Policy, with only Mayor Al Siebring speaking against the idea due to the ongoing cost of consultants.
An arsonist is thought to have caused a 2018 wildfire on Maple Mountain in North Cowichan’s 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve, municipal forester Shaun Mason said Monday.
A 12-minute forestry presentation to council by industry mouthpiece Resource Works fell flat Wednesday, offering little on North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve.
The Coastal Fire Centre says the 32-hectare Copper Canyon wildfire on Mosaic private forest lands on the back side of Mount Sicker is officially under control.
North Cowichan council on Wednesday defeated a motion from Councillor Tek Manhas to specifically invite Resource Works — an industry mouthpiece — to provide input into a review of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve.
The financial benefits of forest carbon credits will continue to grow as the carbon tax increases in the coming years, a UBC forest research associate predicts.
The provincial Office of the Ombudsperson has ruled that meetings of a citizens’ forestry Working Group are not required to be held in public because the group was created by a consultant rather than by North Cowichan council.
North Cowichan’s parks and recreation director says he is disappointed that someone has taken it upon themself to spray paint numerous trees to needlessly mark the blue and yellow trails on Maple Mountain in the Municipal Forest Reserve.
North Cowichan has endorsed the recommendations of municipal forester Shaun Mason for stiffer penalties to combat a rash of tree poaching and other infractions in the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve.
I spend a lot of time in the Six Mountains — hiking, mountain biking, bouncing around gravel logging roads in my pickup truck. I often don’t like what I see.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring recently referenced an opinion piece written by some of Canada’s senior timber industry officials who support the notion that it is better to log trees for profit before they grow old and turn into carbon and methane emitters.
North Cowichan should seize the moment and take a leadership role on environmental policies and regulations, a consultant’s report for the Municipality recommends.
North Cowichan has publicly released a list of individuals recommended for appointment to a new Environmental Advisory Committee — but won’t divulge any information about them.
North Cowichan is proposing a land-transfer deal with a property developer that would add new and expanded parking lots to help manage a growing number of mountain bike enthusiasts on Mount Tzouhalem.
Ask North Cowichan residents to name their favourite tree, and arbutus would be right up there. The Six Mountains are blessed with an abundance of them and I believe we also boast some of the biggest specimens in BC.
Chief Administrative Officer Ted Swabey earned $195,949 plus $9,870 in expenses — highest in the Municipality of North Cowichan — last year, according to the 2019 Statement of Financial Information.
While tourists enjoyed a world-class wildlife spectacle this month — Steller and California sea lions hauled out on the Cowichan Bay waterfront — Cowichan Tribes engaged in a “demonstration” commercial fishery of chum salmon.
The BC Ministry of Environment has issued a “non-compliance advisory letter” for several violations related to a municipal sewage-treatment plant that empties into the Cowichan River, a review by sixmountains.ca of provincial enforcement and compliance files reveals.
The president of a consulting firm that provided early advice on North Cowichan’s engagement with First Nations on the Municipal Forest Reserve says the municipality lacks experience in the area.
An internal email from North Cowichan’s municipal forester is fuelling concerns that a public consultation process into an interim management plan for the Municipal Forest Reserve is actually a talk-and-log show, freedom-of-information documents reveal.
Freedom-of-information documents reveal that the Municipality of North Cowichan deliberately withheld important information on reasons for a 60-day pause in public consultation on the future of the Municipal Forest Reserve.
Almost three decades ago, North Cowichan’s Forest Advisory Committee retained a consultant to review municipal logging on Maple Mountain and to ask people and organizations to fill out a questionnaire on what they value in our forests.
Vancouver consultant Erik Lees this week emphasized the importance of a “balanced” public consultation into the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve. But given the lack of transparency surrounding the citizens’ Working Group one wonders if that’s the case.
Transparency: "We encourage a high level of disclosure regarding the process and results, as well as clear communication regarding how those results are used.” (Source: Lees and Associates winning contract bid.)
The Penelakut Tribe has unveiled a draft 10-year plan for a 801.98-hectare woodlot on Crown land within the Chemainus River watershed.
PlaceSpeak will continue to be used for the public consultation process into interim management of North Cowichan’s 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve despite several members of council raising concerns about the on-line platform.
A prominent B.C. professional forester is asking the provincial government to immediately “stop all old-growth logging” on Vancouver Island.
Logging in the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve created as few as 10 full-time jobs — two of those municipal staffers — last year, according to North Cowichan estimates provided to sixmountains.ca.
North Cowichan council on April 15 rejected a dubious motion by councillor Tek Manhas that would have resumed logging in the Municipal Forest Reserve despite the fact that a public consultation process on the logging issue has barely begun.
For the second time, I've had to resort to a freedom-of-information request to the Municipality of North Cowichan to find out more about the consultation process for the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve.
It took a freedom-of-information request to North Cowichan, but sixmountains.ca has finally obtained the official minutes of the first meeting of the citizens’ Working Group that is helping to guide public consultation on the Municipal Forest Reserve.
The Cowichan Watershed Board is urging the provincial government to legislate protection of old growth on privately managed forest lands in the Cowichan Valley.
I drove to the top of Mount Prevost this past sunny weekend. The place bustled with sightseers, mountain bikers, hikers, and motorcycle/ATV enthusiasts.
It’s just one tree that lived long ago, but its story still resonates, and has the capacity to make us remember how things used to be and how they might yet be in the future.
One of the world’s great mountaineers, Pat Morrow, visited North Cowichan last weekend — and he had a few words to say about the grassroots campaign to save the Six Mountains from logging.
Meetings of the newly appointed citizens’ Working Group on future management of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve are not open to the public, but sixmountains.ca has at least obtained some basic background on the individuals selected.
The Municipality of North Cowichan announced today that the public consultation process into future management of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve — also known as the Six Mountains — has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
North Cowichan’s 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve lies within the most endangered “ecological zone” in British Columbia, providing the municipality with a remarkable opportunity to make a major conservation difference, says one of BC’s greatest plant authorities.
The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society is asking North Cowichan to consider water protection rather than logging as the best use of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve.
North Cowichan’s launch of its much-anticipated public engagement on the future of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve stumbled badly out of the blocks this week, leaving citizens understandably confused and suspicious about the process.
A leading forest professional says clearcutting is the worst thing a community can do to reduce the risks of wildfires along an urban interface.
I drove up to Stoney Hill today, a sunny winter’s afternoon. I was not alone. The parking lot was jammed, forcing motorists to pull over on the roadside up to two blocks away. Traffic came to a complete stop while frustrated drivers wondered what to do next.
People who buy a home in North Cowichan are willing to pay a premium for a water or mountain view — and that preference translates into untold millions of dollars in house prices as well as added tax revenue for the municipality.
North Cowichan council has rejected a staff suggestion to approve logging an additional 5,000 cubic metres from the Municipal Forest Reserve.
While North Cowichan debates whether or how much it should log within the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve, it could learn some lessons from Metro Vancouver’s management of its own North Shore watersheds.
Citizens of North Cowichan will soon have an opportunity to apply to join a public working group as part of the engagement process for future management of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve, also known as the Six Mountains.
Logging has been taking place on Mount Tzouhalem in the Six Mountains, but this time it’s not the Municipality of North Cowichan.
A draft plan for public consultation on future management of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve — also known as the Six Mountains — has highlighted several “challenges” with the process being undertaken by North Cowichan council.
In a few weeks, North Cowichan residents will get their first peek at plans for a public consultation process into the future of the Six Mountains/Municipal Forest Reserve.