Time for more enlightened forest management

the meeting’s speakers begged mayor and council for a pause in forestry operations

Time for more enlightened forest management

I attended North Cowichan council chambers on Dec. 19, where many concerned citizens eloquently challenged the existing management regime that governs our municipal forest reserve. By an estimated four-to-one margin, the meeting’s speakers begged mayor and council for a pause in forestry operations and appealed for a review of policies and practices.

Notably included among the speakers was a coterie of naysaying, retired foresters who thought current policies were just fine. During their careers, this fraternity had dutifully served their corporate masters, and mutely acquiesced to the final liquidation of Vancouver Island’s native forests. Commendably, some now step forward to offer their expertise to the community.

But stop and think! Hasn’t our reliance on these established experts often been ill founded? We are still struggling to recover the health of our precious watersheds as a result of industrial-style forestry in the Cowichan, and the cost to the public’s purse for this historic negligence will multiply for generations. Shouldn’t we seek a more enlightened path in shaping municipal forest management?

It is time to consult a new breed of progressive forester who understands the vital importance of biodiversity, the cumulative impacts of poor management, and the holistic balance of all intrinsic values — not least, public trust. It is time to fully enter the 21st Century, acknowledging that the “climate” has changed in every sense.

I join the chorus asking North Cowichan council to pause and conduct a comprehensive review of all municipal forest reserve policies and practices, guided by meaningful consultation with all constituents — many of whom possess a profound knowledge of, and an extraordinary passion for, this community’s shared environment.

Roger Wiles

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Paper Excellence finalizes deal to acquire Crofton’s Catalyst Paper

Sale includes Crofton mill, plus mills in Port Alberni and Powell River

Foundation being built for the new Chemainus library to become a cornerstone of the community

All the services and amenities in keeping with the modern age

VIDEO: Harpdog Brown grinds out the blues at Osborne Bay Pub March 22

With his new band, he’s still offering a vintage vibe, just a different vintage!

Malahat artists beautify Mill Bay ferry terminal

BC Ferries terminal at Mill Bay has been beautified thanks to new… Continue reading

City of Duncan contemplates expanding borders

Residents will be asked opinion in upcoming citizen’s survey

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read