Letter: The Six Mountains and the premier

Premier Eby made the most important statement about forests by any premier since War of the Woods

The Six Mountains and the premier

Timing is everything — or has been in our North Cowichan Community forest story.

The most recent example will go down in history as the pivotal moment in B.C.’s forests, including our Six Mountains.

It began Dec. 21, winter solstice, (from out of the dark, moving toward the light), the four-year anniversary of our community forest consultation.

The forest survey was almost over. Because of the holidays, council voted for a month’s extension.

The very same day, Premier [David] Eby made the most important, truthful statement about the forests by any premier since the War of the Woods in the 1980s.

Timing. It wouldn’t make the news for five days. Even then, Boxing Day, it was buried. We didn’t know about it.

Meanwhile, after a month of our community posting and sharing about the forests and survey, most people had moved on, were focused on loved ones and the holidays.

Into the breach, a few status quo logging advocates launched a campaign to defame the UBC report, carbon credit revenue, and community forest advocates.

In social media and the press, they said outsider environmental organizations are funding a front group of forest advocates in North Cowichan.

It’s not true, but the insidious untruth was spreading.

Thank goodness for timing. We were busy with loved ones, didn’t worry about it, didn’t respond; it didn’t matter.

For on Dec. 26, it happened — a miracle, the inconceivable, Premier Eby’s statement went public.

In short, Eby said “short-term thinking…in land management” (forestry) has led to “exhausted forests.” He criticized his own government’s status quo logging. He didn’t use the word “unsustainable” — he didn’t need to. “Exhausted forests” says it all.

The premier’s historic message will trickle down and sink in deep. The question is, will it be fast enough to bring about necessary change in time?

The speed of truth depends on individuals and communities speaking out.

To change requires courage. For those who believe status quo logging is sustainable, it will require enormous courage to question whether it’s true.

And in a small community, to advocate for change of business-as-usual-ways requires not only courage but stamina.

Four years and counting — we’re still doing it.

Icel Dobell

Where Do We Stand, North Cowichan