North Cowichan sets March 6 deadline to apply for Working Group on Municipal Forest Reserve

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.

 

North Cowichan is a growing community. 

 

So is the love for our natural surroundings. 

 

Clearly, what we need are more protected parkland and public trails, greater protection of viewscapes — and less of the logging that has dominated the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve for almost 75 years.

 

If you support long-needed changes in management of the forest reserve, now is your chance to make a difference.

 

North Cowichan council has set a deadline of March 6 to apply to join a 16-member Working Group that will help guide the forthcoming public consultation on interim and long-term management of the forest reserve, also known as Six Mountains.

 

Information posted on the municipal website states: “We are seeking a variety (of) perspectives and people who are willing to participate collaboratively with others. Participants must be North Cowichan residents or represent a group/society/organization within North Cowichan, and must commit to attending all four meetings in 2020.”

 

The first Working Group meeting is scheduled for Mar. 11, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

 

Terms of reference for the Working Group state, in part, that residents and stakeholders can provide input on:

 

— What they value about local forests overall and the forest reserve specifically.

— What values should be considered in future planning.

— The mission and goals of the forest reserve.

— Development of criteria for evaluating possible forest management options.

 

Members of the Working Group will represent four sectors: recreational; environmental; forestry and local economy; and community members and groups.

 

The municipal contact is Megan Jordan: megan.jordan@northcowichan.ca or 250-746-3156. Application forms and further information can be found on the municipal website: https://bit.ly/3a0LWhZ

 

 

— Larry Pynn Feb. 22/2020

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