What is the future of the Municipal Forest Reserve?
Entrance to the Municipality of North Cowichan office. (Photo by Sharon Vanhouwe, mycowichanvalleynow.com staff).
A number of speakers made their opinions known at the last North Cowichan council meeting when it comes to the future of the Municipal Forest Reserve.
The ideas ranged from removing scotch broom from the municipal forest reserve, as it’s a major wildfire risk, to leaving the blowdown where it is.
Mayor Al Siebring said the plan moving forward centres around removing blowdown and finishing up existing contracts and launching a community engagement campaign in the municipality.
“There’s a couple of parallel tracks, the Forest Advisory Committee will continue to look at logging practices and staff is coming forward with some recommendations on how to do the public engagement on whether we want to continue logging beyond what we’ve agreed to do this year,” said Siebring.
Back in February, Municipal Forester Shaun Mason indicated that North Cowichan harvests an average of 50 hectares of the reserve annually and removing the blowdown is key to mitigating wildfire risk.
If the blowdown was left alone, it would increase wildfire risk and the chance of infestation by ambrosia and mountain pine beetles.