What’s happening with North Cowichan forest review?

There doesn’t appear to be any clear objectives or work plan

This was supposed to be the year that North Cowichan scaled back its logging and reviewed its forestry operations.

This was in reaction to a groundswell of interest beginning in December with packed council meetings, petitions, letters to the editor and public meetings.

What has happened since?

In this year of pause and consultation, it turns out that we are increasing our logging activities 50 per cent over 2017. With blowdown recovery and patch logging, we are expecting to log more than 16,000 cubic metres in 2019 vs. 10,500 cubic metres in 2017.

A terms of reference for a Municipal Forest Review was adopted by council emphasizing the best and highest use of the forest, but there has been no indication as yet that the forest review is being conducted in an organized, methodical and meaningful manner. Specifically, there appears to be no one managing the process.

There appears to be uncertainty as to what the review is actually supposed to address. There are no clear objectives. There is no work plan or schedule beyond a commitment to complete the process by January 2020.

There appears to be division among the FAC about what the terms of reference actually mean. Indications are that staff and many of the committee view the review as being focused on traditional operational considerations (essentially an audit), while other members believe it important to sort out the mission and management philosophy/framework before making judgments about what highest and best use means in terms of land use, land use priorities, management objectives and more.

The UBC Faculty of Forestry recently made a generous offer to collaborate with the municipality in its review and consultation process. This seems like a wonderful opportunity to kick start the process. Has the municipality responded to UBC?

It’s time to put someone in charge of the Forest Review and get things rolling.

Icel Dobell,

North Cowichan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Cowichan Mayor assesses drive-by celebration situation in Crofton

Siebring says bylaw officer’s response to a complaint routinely done all the time

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Hot ticket: Tickets on sale tonight for drive-in theatre at Cowichan Exhibition

Fresh Air Cinema bringing Onward and The Lion King to the big screen at the Cowichan Exhibition

Long-awaited opening for Chemainus Public Market

All components not up and running just yet, but will be soon

RCMP remind drivers of school zone safety as classes resume

Failure to comply could result in a fine of anywhere from $196 to $253

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Most Read