Salvage Assessments Underway in Municipal Forest Reserve

January 23, 2019
Media

From the North Cowichan Press Release:

(North Cowichan, BC) – 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.

Professional Forest Engineers will assess the blown down timber throughout the Forest Reserve and provide 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 blowdowns is an important part of clean-up following the recent windstorm,” says 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. Council considered a motion to pause logging in a certain area of the Municipal Forest and decided to postpone a decision until: a) Council finishes its priority planning exercise and establishes a Strategic Plan, b) Council tours the Municipal Forest Reserve, and c) Council receives a detailed staff report about our 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.

Our Response

Posted in the Cowichan Valley Citizen

This natural event is our opportunity to begin a community dialogue about the future of our forests.

Public should have input into windfall cleanup plans

In response to the recent news release from the municipality — after the windfall — we understand the municipality is assessing the opportunity to salvage timber, while addressing issues of forest health, public safety, and fire protection.

We assume the broader assessment of the windfall will include and address biodiversity and social values.

We also assume that a number of management options will be prepared and that the public will have an opportunity to review and comment.

Hundreds of residents showed up at the December council meeting — 1,400 people have signed the WhereDoWeStand.ca petition — to ask for a pause in logging of all our Community Forests for public consultation with experts on the forests from a variety of backgrounds.

This natural event is our opportunity to begin a community dialogue about the future of our forests.

This article is designed to pose questions and spark debate, not to provide answers. This article is based on online research, talking with experts and visual observation. Please use the online form below if you believe there is more to this story than we are aware of.

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Location

District of North Cowichan, Vancouver Island BC