Municipal logging program generates minimal profits, ships raw logs offshore

Truth is, there are far better ways for the municipality to earn income from our forests

Municipal logging program generates minimal profits, ships raw logs offshore

More than six out of 10 trees harvested in North Cowichan’s municipal forest reserve last year were exported as raw logs, according to the 2019 Forestry Report.

Raw-log exports totalled 63 per cent of the municipal harvest of 15,255 cubic metres in 2019, up from 58 per cent of 11,562 cubic metres in 2018.

That’s right, in the midst of a moratorium on new logging contracts pending a public consultation on the 5,000-hectare forest reserve, the municipality found a way to increase harvesting through blowdown timber and fulfillment of outstanding logging contracts.

The fact that most of North Cowichan’s logs are exported further erodes the argument that logging of the forest reserve is needed to support the local economy.

Note that logging last year in the forest reserve created as few as an estimated 10 direct jobs — at least two of those municipal staffers. And the two logging companies that operated in the reserve were from outside North Cowichan.

Truth is, there are far better ways for the municipality to earn income from our forests — namely, carbon-credit cash for leaving our trees standing.

A report for North Cowichan by 3GreenTree Ecosystem Services Ltd. states, “Initial estimates indicate that a carbon offset project on the MFR could provide an ongoing, stable revenue source to the MNC competitive with the current logging model….”

Meanwhile, logging in the municipal forest reserve achieved gross revenues of $1.5 million last year — but don’t get excited.

When you subtract all the costs of getting that timber, the forestry program winds up with a net profit of $275,255.

The net profit includes $86,066 for cell-tower rentals and $13,169 as “other revenue.” Deduct those items and the net profit drops to $176,020.

The cell-tower rental first shows up on the forestry books in 2017, generating $86,658 in revenue. Subtract that amount along with $11,625 in other revenue from the forestry program’s stated net income of $130,167.

That leaves just $31,884 in net logging profits — yet all North Cowichan citizens live with the ugly and environmentally damaging legacy of these clearcuts for decades.

Larry Pynn

Maple Bay

Letters

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

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Mandatory alcohol screening

If you have to drive, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive.

Mary Lowther column: Time to plan the winter garden

Weeds have gotten away on me, I’ve just finished laying out my soaker hoses

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Sarah Simpson Column: Finding nature at home

It was time to call in reinforcements.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read