The Perfect Catch 22

The Perfect Catch 22

Icel Dobell

Emergency: Fire Hazard. Gates closed on Mount Prevost and Sicker.

Emergency: No Time For Public Consultation—We must sign contract to salvage log Stoney Hill, the driest mountain, during fire hazard closure because of fire risk of blow down that will not be harvested if there is a fire risk. There is a fire risk. Hurry!

Can someone please explain the Catch 22?

If there is no explanation, maybe we could stop it in time. Tenders in, contract not signed—and even if it is…

Branches are the real fire risk, say some. Logs are not. If we quickly sign the contract, will we gather the branches and burn them in fire hazard conditions?

Last Wednesday, 80 people rallied at the North Cowichan Municipal Hall to peacefully protest the signing of the Stoney Hill contract before public consultation—this after a letter to council with 650 signatures was given no consideration.

Why the emergency to sign the Stoney Hill contract and yet no emergency to deal with 8 hectares full of up to 6’ broom, out-competing small trees, surrounded by dry tall grass where teenagers party? Most fires are caused by man. What is the greater danger: fallen logs in the forest (becoming nurse logs) without easy access, or massive broom fields (growing to 9’ or more) with a road running through and fire pit destination?

It’s the perfect Catch 22. If Stoney Hill and Tzouhalem are shut down for logging before the contract is signed to salvage/log, then drought would impose its own dictate, its own pause. It has already happened. We can’t burn the branches. We must pause. Pause means time for public participation and an ecological assessment of the long term health of the forest.

To those who have contacted WhereDoWeStand.ca, we’re not giving up as a community. As is happening internationally, young people and artists are showing up, speaking out about the nature of a forest, why we live here, why we may die out as a species if we don’t change now.

Links to media coverage of the Stoney Hill Protest:

https://www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/news/demonstrators-gather-to-demand-a-voice-on-north-cowichan-municipal-forest-reserve/

https://www.cheknews.ca/activists-ask-north-cowichan-municipal-council-to-pause-tree-harvesting-564913/

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Location

District of North Cowichan, Vancouver Island BC