Consultants Lees & Associates have selected 16 members of the public to participate in a working group as part of the public engagement on the future of the North Cowichan Municipal Forest Reserve.
This group will help shape engagement inputs into the Interim and Long-Term Forest Management Plans. Applications for the Working Group launched on PlaceSpeak, and on the North Cowichan website on Feb. 28. During the two-week application window, a sustained advertising campaign was carried out, resulting in more than 70 applications being received.
Applications were each reviewed by Erik Lees, Megan Turnock and Eileen Finn of Lees & Associates and Dr. Stephen Sheppard of the UBC Partnership Group. To help create a balanced working group, the applicants’ interests and background were identified as either general, recreation, environmental/conservation, economy or forestry. Many people had overlapping interests and applicants were not limited to interest in only one category.
Applicants living outside the Municipality were not eligible. However, non-residents will have the opportunity to participate in the online survey and attend in-person events.
In addition, Forest Advisory Committee members were considered, but the consultants concluded that FAC members will have other opportunities for participation, specifically with the UBC Partnership Group’s technical review.
The final 16 people identified for the Working Group includes eight men and eight women. Two were unable to attend the inaugural Working Group meeting while one prospective member declined to join the group. As a result, Lees & Associates will decide how this position will be filled by March 31.
Confirmed members include: Bruce Coates, Dan Williams, Roger Wiles, Sharon Horsburgh, Marilyn Palmer, Robert Fullerton, Paul Tataryn, Margaret Symon, Rhonda Hittinger, Rick Martinson, Deb Wright, Larry MacIntosh, Sally Leigh-Spencer, Michael Petereit and Susan Derby.
Summaries from the Working Group Meetings will be posted on the North Cowichan website and PlaceSpeak after each meeting.