Public sends North Cowichan powerful message of support for forest preservation

The survey results send a clear message to council on citizens’ vision for the future.


Public sends North Cowichan powerful message of support for forest preservation

The public has identified green spaces and recreation as easily the most important attributes of North Cowichan, according to a survey designed to guide the municipality over the next 20 years.

A report by the consultant MODUS, says that 1,201 individuals participated in the “vision and goals survey,” part of the municipality’s renewal of its Official Community Plan. The survey was mostly completed online from Aug. 14 to Sept. 17.

Referring to an overarching theme in the responses, MODUS concludes: “The preservation of natural areas and resources was the most frequently mentioned topic.

“This relates to protecting wildlife habitats, limiting extraction of natural resources and implementing strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

Asked what they love most about North Cowichan, a total of 624 individuals named “natural green spaces and surroundings, specifically the mountains, rivers, forests and ocean.” Another 304 identified “access to outdoors for recreational activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking and swimming.”

Asked what they’d change about the municipality, 197 people — again, more than any other category — addressed the theme of “environmental protection and preservation,” according to the report. The public expressed concern for the “conservation of natural resources and preservation of forest and green spaces, specifically related to the negative impacts of logging and air pollution.”

In second spot, 192 people addressed the theme of “growth management and development.” They said they want less urban sprawl and a slower rate of development, citing “concern for uncontrolled development that will negatively impact natural areas/resources and may take away from the semi-rural character.”

The survey results send a clear message to council on citizens’ vision for the future.

“This feedback will help shape a 20-year vision and develop priorities so we can achieve that vision together,” the MODUS report explains. “Coming to a common understanding about our collective community values will help us ‘ThinkForward’ as we move through this community-driven process.”

Mayor Al Siebring has stated: “Hearing from our citizens and the community is vital to getting this plan right. We want to ensure that the community’s voice and vision are reflected in the updated Official Community Plan, and this is a key moment.

“This survey is your chance to express your biggest hopes for the future of our municipality, and I strongly encourage you to participate.”

The development of a new Official Community Plan is separate from consultations on the future of the 5,000-hectare municipal forest reserve. Council has suspended public engagement on the forest reserve pending more talks with local First Nations.

Let’s hope that the overwhelming public support for forest preservation is also reflected in the forest reserve review.

View the full MODUS report here:

Larry Pynn

North Cowichan


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

Just Posted

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after receiving complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

Ben Maartman, left, and Murray McNab are running for regional director for Area H North Oyster-Diamond in a Cowichan Valley Regional District byelection later this month. (Photos submitted)
Preliminary Area H byelection results show Maartman up by seven votes, McNab to ask for recount

Results of the by-election to by finalized by noon on Tuesday, December 1

Freighter anchored off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Cowichan MP hosting virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MP’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Santa will be in Honeymoon Bay on Dec. 13. (File photo)
Santa to visit Honeymoon Bay on Dec. 13

Families must call ahead due to pandemic

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Most Read