While a draft report from 2018 indicates there are an estimated 141 species-at-risk in North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve, the municipality says the true number won’t likely be known until the ongoing forest review of the reserve is completed. (File photo)

While a draft report from 2018 indicates there are an estimated 141 species-at-risk in North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve, the municipality says the true number won’t likely be known until the ongoing forest review of the reserve is completed. (File photo)

North Cowichan still studying number of species-at-risk in forest reserve

Study from 2018 estimates there are 141

It still has to be determined exactly how many species-at-risk there are in North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve, according to Shaun Mason.

Mason, North Cowichan’s municipal forester, said a consultant’s draft report written in 2018 that states there are an estimated 141 species-at-risk in the 5,000-hectare MFR is not based on solid information.

He said the information in the report, titled “A Strategy for Managing Species At Risk” in the MFR, comes from provincial sources that based the numbers on the types of ecosystems that exist in the reserve, and what species could possibly live in them, rather than from on-the-ground specific studies within the MFR itself.

“Just because the draft report states the number of these species that could be there doesn’t mean that they are there,” Mason said.

“I expect that will be determined during the ongoing review of the forest reserve.”


A press release from sixmountains.ca, a website dedicated to providing information about logging in the MFR which had a link to the draft report, said the 141 species listed in the report include 21 birds, 10 mammals, 16 insects and a variety of plant and other species.

The report also acknowledged that North Cowichan’s forestry program does not currently have a formal system in place to manage species at risk.

The draft report was presented in 2018 to North Cowichan’s forestry advisory committee, which recommended it be further reviewed.


After hearing that an updated version had been submitted to the University of BC’s forestry faculty, that is working with North Cowichan on a management plan for the forest reserve, sixmountains.ca filed a freedom-of-information request for a copy of the updated version.

Sixmountains.ca is run by Larry Pynn, a veteran environmental journalist and author who lives in Maple Bay.

Other community members, including Bruce Coates, co-chair of Cowichan Naturalists and a member of the citizens’ working group that is helping guide public consultation during the review of the forest reserve, urged North Cowichan’s council to release the updated report into the public domain as soon as possible.

But Mason said he’s unaware of the updated version that is being referred to.

He said there might be some confusion with some assessments of sensitive ecosystems within the MFR that were recently conducted as part of the ongoing forestry review.

“This was merely an overview that was looking for basic information on areas of interest within the MFR,” Mason said.

“The assessment didn’t look into every corner of the MFR. It looked at just a few hot spots to determine what could be there. A lot will be determined by the outcome of the forestry review.”


A recent complaint by sixmountains.ca alleging there is too much secrecy in North Cowichan’s public consultation process into the future of the MFR has led to an investigation by the provincial Office of the Ombudsperson.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

Police presence in Chemainus in an actual building is limited to South Island Highway Patrol on Chemainus Road. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)
Petition calls for policing commitment in Chemainus to be honoured

Former detachment member leads the charge in making the municipality and RCMP accountable

Khowhemun Elementary is one of two Cowichan Valley schools that announced possible COVID-19 exposures last week. (Google Street View image)
Two Cowichan Valley schools announce possible COVID-19 exposures

Positive tests at Khowhemun, Quamichan; Superstore confirms more cases

Members of the 4-H Horse Club enjoy the annual horse camp at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. (submitted)
Farm Credit Canada supports Cowichan 4-H club with cash

On the list of recipients is the Cowichan 4-H Horse Club out of Cobble Hill.

Flanked by CVOLC staff members Kevin van der Linden, Nate Boersen, Lisa Kellar and Neil Ellingson, Ryan Linehan receives his Student of the Month award from Rotary representatives Gregg Perry and Kim Barnard. 
(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Collective ‘ambassador’ named Student of the Month

Ryan Linehan earns award for demonstrating natural leadership

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Most Read