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Charles Borg calls supporters of covid vaccine mandates ‘bad apples’ in on-line interview

Kate Marsh cites “need for consistency on handling breaches of Standards of Conduct Policy’

“Despite what some people like (mayor) Al Siebring say...”

“I actually don't believe political parties should play a role in local elections:” Rosalie Sawrie

“Organizations cannot raise money and use it to campaign for local candidates.”

Rainsford Lake contributes to biodiversity of Municipal Forest Reserve

Overdevelopment of land cited as support declines for municipal changes

North Cowichan council on Wednesday voted 5-1 to approve a new Official Community Plan.

North Cowichan mayor unable to keep speakers ‘on topic’ at public hearing

‘Today is a milestone’ says planning director after three years of work

North Cowichan public hearing into critical planning document set for next week

7 things to know about public consultation into the Municipal Forest Reserve of North Cowichan

Concerns include vegetation loss, safety, erosion, water quality, and wildlife impacts

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.

Have you wondered what’s happened to the consultation process into the future of North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve?

“It’s becoming quite a problem of people harvesting trees illegally.”

Spending on municipal staff up 17.5 percent in one year due to covid, new hirings

The Nature Conservancy of Canada announced Wednesday it is removing the controversial cross from atop Mount Tzouhalem.

The cross atop Mount Tzouhalem — a subject of intense ongoing controversy — has been vandalized yet again.

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.

First published by the Times Colonist on Mar. 17, 2022

But remains consistent on central themes of the event

Public cannot file complaints against councillors for bad behaviour

The mystery of the Mount Tzouhalem cross — taken down, then put back up, all without permission — has adopted an unexpected hue.

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.

‘Many community members expressed concern about harvesting practices’

You may have watched news reports last October of the rare visit of a beluga whale to Puget Sound, Wash.

Council should acknowledge changing community values

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 lengthy battle over expansion of Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit is not over.

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.

Forests Forever exhibit is biased, sidesteps logging issues

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.

On-line survey, Zoom workshops available now for Six Mountains

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.

North Cowichan farm non-compliant for manure application

The paint on a memorandum of understanding signed between North Cowichan and First Nations is barely dry, yet it is already showing some wear.

They’re called rub or mark trees and are used by bears for more than simply scratching their backs.

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.

Development around wetlands also a concern

Society president is open to showing ‘both sides’

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.

Mop-up of Copper Canyon fire continues (Updated Wed., Aug. 11, 2021)

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.

Mayor confirms carbon credits an option for forest reserve

Another tree-poaching site has come to light on Stoney Hill near Maple Bay, within North Cowichan’s 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve.

North Cowichan’s standing forests have economic value

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.

How a private timber company turned a tidy profit by not cutting old-growth trees in the Cowichan Valley

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.

Cost and environmental factors cited
Latest in an occasional series on the Six Mountains

Second in an occasional series on the Six Mountains

North Cowichan councillor who sits on Cowichan Tribes disqualifies herself from vote

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.

(This article appeared in the Times Colonist newspaper on Aug. 14, 2020)
British Columbia’s most endangered landscape is at risk from logging. But don’t look to a heartless profit-driven private corporation as the culprit. The Municipality of North Cowichan is the one doing the damage.

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.

Clearcutting by North Cowichan municipality revealed

More than six out of 10 trees harvested in North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve last year were exported as raw logs, the 2019 Forestry Report reveals.

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.

Mt. Prevost and Mt. Sicker are critical viewscapes requiring protection

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.

North Cowichan CAO Ted Swabey: “We do not clear-cut as a harvesting practice:"

Cowichan Tribes has purchased Genoa Bay Farm and plans to develop a residential community on the lands, says Chief William Seymour.

I saw something very strange this week — a fully loaded logging truck lumbering through the residential streets of The Properties at Maple Bay.