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North Cowichan council should nix presentation from industry lobby group

North Cowichan councillors on Wednesday will consider a dubious motion to have Resource Works — an industry mouthpiece — appear before them to talk about logging.

I hope council votes no.

Councillor Tek Manhas has proposed the motion. He represents an unofficial pro-logging voting bloc with Mayor Al Siebring.

Has Manhas forgotten that council has already engaged the UBC forestry department to help guide future management of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve?

If he wants professional input on forestry then resume discussions with UBC, stalled now for over a year pending secret consultations with local First Nations. There’s no need to go outside the established consultation process to receive a talk from industry lobbyists — unless, of course, you are trying to build a case for continued logging of the forest reserve before the public even has its say.

Resource Works executive director Stewart Muir (https://bit.ly/35VvyQ4) has been busy of late trying to whip up industry outrage by suggesting that the old-growth protests on the west coast of Vancouver Island are the first step in shutting down all logging in BC.

“We now know that the real campaign is about a moratorium on all forestry in British Columbia,” warns Muir, a registered federal lobbyist.

No one seriously believes that public support for old-growth protection is the slippery slope to ending all logging in BC. We need logging. That’s obvious.

But I digress.

There is no old-growth in the Municipal Forest Reserve due to decades of logging. A report for council estimates at least 141 species are at risk in the reserve, which includes the endangered coastal Douglas-fir forest.

What’s needed is a conservation vision for our forest reserve, not a lecture from Resource Works on why we need yet more of the same in our community.

— Larry Pynn, July 21, 2021