The Municipality of North Cowichan is assessing its municipal forest reserve for salvageable trees that were downed in last month’s windstorm. (File photo)

The Municipality of North Cowichan is assessing its municipal forest reserve for salvageable trees that were downed in last month’s windstorm. (File photo)

Tree salvage project underway in North Cowichan forest reserve

Many trees down after wind storm

A project is underway in North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve to identify and salvage trees that were significantly damaged or blown down during the major windstorm last month.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY ONE OF WINDSTORM’S HARDEST HIT AREAS

Professional forest engineers will assess the blown-down timber throughout the forest reserve and provide the municipality’s forestry staff with a preliminary assessment and recommendations on how best to salvage the timber.

The recommendations will be reviewed by staff and then presented to council for approval before salvage occurs.

“Salvaging blow-downs is an important part of clean-up following the recent windstorm,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

“This project will remove damaged and dead trees that are vulnerable to beetle infestation and that pose a safety, access, or wildfire risk.”

In December, council heard from numerous residents that are interested in forestry activities within the municipal forest reserve.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN POSTPONES VOTE ON LOGGING IN MUNICIPAL FOREST RESERVE

Council considered a motion to pause logging in a certain area of the municipal forest and decided to postpone a decision until council finishes its priority planning exercise and establishes a strategic plan, tours the reserve and receives a detailed staff report about North Cowichan’s forest operations.

These steps are anticipated to be completed in early 2019.

In the meantime, council has committed to providing regular updates about activities within the forest reserve.