Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

Police respond quickly to tree poaching complaint on Mount Prevost

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.

The complaint shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday stated that a lone man was sharpening a chainsaw at the back of a large U-Haul truck parked about four kilometres up the Mount Prevost main logging road. Jerry cans were visible inside the truck’s open sliding door.

Municipal signs warning against tree cutting were clearly posted on the road.

RCMP confirmed they found a man “harvesting” wood on Mount Prevost and said the matter has been turned over to the municipal bylaw department.

Unfortunately, the Municipality’s position is that it cannot comment on the case due to privacy reasons.

Last June council approved stiffer penalties to combat a rash of tree poaching and other infractions in the 5,000-hectare forest reserve. “Increasing the fines and streamlining the process will help act as a deterrent to illegal activity that has been taking place within the MFR,” municipal forester Shaun Mason said in a report to council.

Further details: https://bit.ly/3mb3dxC

Less than two months earlier, sixmountains.ca discovered the poaching of two valuable western red cedars on Stoney Hill and all-terrain vehicle tracks leading to an apparent getaway about a kilometre away on Stoney Hill Road.

sixmountains.ca later discovered numerous other cedars as well as Douglas firs stolen from the forest reserve on Mount Prevost and Mount Sicker.

Currently, there is a moratorium on logging in the forest reserve. Parallel consultations are underway with the public and First Nations.

Anyone witnessing or having knowledge of tree poaching in the reserve should call 911 or municipal hall at 250-746-3106.

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— Larry Pynn, Dec. 17, 2021

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg