PAUSE the Stoney Hill Logging

STONEY HILL UPDATE: The municipality is widening the country road to create a logging road for wide equipment. The actual logging tender is out and will be awarded by the end of the month .

The wind fall at the entrance to the extraordinary western cliffs of Stoney Hill, featured in the WhereDoWeStand.ca video - that could be a world class park - is about to be harvested. Trees will be taken down;  logging roads, skid trails and landing areas built. However, Stoney Hill is a composite of cobble stones, with shallow, sparse soil, and will be irreparably damaged. The trees need all the organic matter available for nutrients, including from the wind fall trees.

With regard to the blow down on Stoney Hill, natural disturbances - (in moderation) - in forests are not a disaster, they are nature’s way of renewing itself,” says well known retired professional forester Ray Travers.

Sign our letter to Council

“We, the citizens of North Cowichan, request public consultation on ecologically sensitive Stoney Hill before any trees are cut down and heavy machinery is brought in to extract trees and build logging roads, skid trails, and landing areas."
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Thanks for support from: JS Plumbing, Pacific Industrial Marine, David Coulson Design, Drill Well and David Slade, Cowichan Valley Voice Magazine, Maple Bay Marina, Community Farm Stores, Lila Music Centre, Yoga With Paulina, Chris Istace Media, Beyond The Usual

One Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley Naturalists “support Where Do We Stand’s campaign for the protection and ecological management of the forests on Stoney Hill and all Six Mountains.”

To learn about the mystery of root systems and soil, view Suzanne Simard’s Ted Talk: How Trees Talk To Each Other - The Mother Tree Project on YouTube. Simard will be coming to the Performing Arts Centre, October 2.

Photography by Chris Istace

Photo/Virtual Tour

Yellow Gate: 600 meters past the main parking / entry point to Stoney Hill Regional Park. This is the entrance to current trail and a proposed logging road into North Cowichan's Municipal (Community) Forest
Moss grows in undisturbed forests, covering rocks and old logs and providing shelter and food for organisms in an ecosystem. Moss protects the ground from erosion and washing away during severe weather. It is a common pioneer species that helps build new soil by breaking down decomposing material.
Stoney Hill is a sensitive ecosystem home to numerous animals who depend on the ecosystem for shelter and food. Raccoons, deer, squirrels, cougar, wolves, black bears, slugs, snails, the endangered native bluebird, owls and many others all call the Cowichan Valley home.
When fallen trees are left undisturbed on the forest floor, they turn into Nurse Logs, which, as they decay, provide nourishment for new growth including mushrooms and fungi, fern, moss and even new seedlings. Some of the advantages a nurse log offers to a seedling are: water, moss thickness, leaf litter, mycorrhizae, disease protection, nutrients, and sunlight.
Just up the trail from the logging road is a beautiful trail leading to the Western Cliffs of Stoney Hill.
Here we see an moss covered Nurse Log underneath newly blown down trees, which can become new Nurse Logs for future naturally-regenerating forests. When the soil is nourished by decomposing logs, new seedlings can sprout and become strong young trees more easily.
Proposed logging roads would cut down young trees and older Mother trees and compact the soil making it less habitable for new growth and destroying not just the young trees and other forest flora, but also the homes of mammals, birds, insects and fungi. This soil compacting makes it more difficult for the recovery of a diverse and resilient ecosystem.
Here we see a beautiful large leaf Maple Mother Tree. All trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the larger, older, "Mother Trees" serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2. (Stay tuned for a brilliant talk in October by UBC Professor Suzanne Simard on Mother Trees and the amazing network of mycelium that connects the plants and trees within a forest)
Red tape on Stoney Hill's sensitive ecosystem marks the center of a logging road, including cutting all the trees in the way and bringing heavy machinery through.
Areas that have had trees harvested and removal of potential nurse logs give way to invasive Scotch Broom which is both unfriendly to the native flora and fauna as well as a serious fire hazard for wild animals and nearby people.
The Stoney Hill logging plan includes 5 patch cuts, two reactivated logging roads, 2 skid paths, and a landing area for sorting the logs.

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Location

District of North Cowichan, Vancouver Island BC