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Ecology/Wildfire

The Cowichan Valley Regional District board has voted to put about $2.5 million annually into a regional parkland acquisition fund — a decision rooted in the results of a public referendum almost 16 years ago.

An estimated 84,000 rainbow trout fry died last summer in the upper Cowichan River, and that could result in about a 30-per-cent reduction in adult steelhead returning to spawn, a provincial fisheries specialist said Monday.

It’s fascinating to watch the natural elements reshape the forests of the Cowichan Valley.

The presence of deer carcasses and shotgun shells is raising questions about potential poaching in an area of the Municipal Forest Reserve that is off-limits to hunting.

Clearcutting in Chemainus River watershed seen as key contributor to downstream flooding

‘The Agricultural Land reserve was never intended to be a single-use zone.’

The carcass of a harbour seal that washed ashore last week in Maple Bay generated plenty of questions on how it died.

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.

Material is coming from new Cowichan hospital construction site

The Chemainus River is the latest Cowichan Valley stream to generate concerns about drought-related impacts on fish stocks.

Our forest type ‘contains more species at risk than any other ecological zone in BC’

Prominent California vinters claim 'sustainability is in our DNA'

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.

Development, invasive species, historic fire suppression also raise concerns

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.

Forestry staff continue to monitor for wildfire risk during dry weather

A newly appointed Environmental Advisory Committee featuring extensive First Nations experience met for the first time on Tuesday at North Cowichan municipal hall.

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.

‘You’re in a really great position. It just needs leadership to pull it all together.’

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.

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.

North Cowichan should seize the moment and take a leadership role on environmental policies and regulations, a consultant’s report for the Municipality recommends.

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.

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.

A leading forest professional says clearcutting is the worst thing a community can do to reduce the risks of wildfires along an urban interface.

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.

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.

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.

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