The B.C. Government guidelines for forest stewardship are to review and plan every five years. North Cowichan’s most recent forest management plan was researched and developed over 40 years ago in 1981.
I am very thankful that, in February 2019, North Cowichan council passed a motion to pause logging to give our community time to do the research needed to develop a new forest management plan. This much-needed review and research is so long overdue.
In addition to the research and consultation into options being done by UBC Partnership Group, North Cowichan council’s decisions will also be guided by the concerns, objectives and policies about trees and forests outlined in our Official Community Plan.
The OCP states that “Much of the Coastal Douglas-Fir Zone has been destroyed, damaged, or fragmented over the past century…the important older, second-growth forests that remain are at significant risk. The health of the Coastal Douglas-Fir Zone in this region depends on wise stewardship, conservation and rehabilitation.”
My understanding from reading this statement and the other paragraphs about trees and forests on page 116 is that the OCP guides North Cowichan mayor and council to place priority on choosing a forest management option that will conserve our important older second-growth forests in our municipal forest reserve and protect them from further destruction, damage or fragmentation.