Who benefits from logging our local mountains?

Between 2003 and 2007 annual export of raw logs from our island increased by 75 per cent.

Who benefits from logging our local mountains?

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 1:30 p.m. in the North Cowichan Municipal Hall the future of the Cowichan Valley mountain forests will be reviewed. The meeting is an attempt to pause or halt the logging of the public lands on the mountains that surround and frame our Valley; Tzouhalem, Maple, Sicker, Prevost, Richards and Stoney Hill.

I have one question for this community regarding this proposed logging. One of the oldest legal questions. Who benefits? Who benefits from the denuding of our Valley?

Do our mills benefits? Since 2003 the big logging companies are no longer obligated by the provincial government to operate lumber mills processing our timber. Between 2003 and 2007 annual export of raw logs from our island to mills in other countries has increased by 75 per cent.

Do local businesses benefit? Does the logging bring increased trade to our community?

Does our community infrastructure benefit?

Does our community revenue benefit?

Do our farmers benefit?

Does the revenue from this logging even stay on the island in our community or does it benefit shareholders and foreign companies?

Sweden also has vast forests harvested for lumber. For over a hundred years the standing volume of timber has been greater than the amount felled. True sustainability. Sweden benefits from its own mills, wood industry, revenue and the beauty of managed forests. B.C. still clear-cuts. The logging companies leave just enough trees along roads and lines of sight for the people to believe they live in a forest. This is like the fringe on a bald man. Anyone who has flown over our island knows this all too well.

So why these mountains? Ninety per cent of our island’s valley bottoms have been logged. There is nowhere left to cut.

So who benefits? The developers who will follow after the mountains are bare? The corporate retail chains who receive most of the spending revenue as our population grows? Those in the community with vested interests in promoting the rape of our Valley?

There is another old principle to find out what is really going on and who benefits. Follow the money.

Will you become active or stay passive and let this last exploitation happen? We think we are world leaders in our province and our country, yet we behave like a third world country; letting our assets be taken from under our noses by others without creating our sustainable future. Who benefits?

Rowan Hamilton

Duncan

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