A public engagement process is beginning to determine the best practices for managing North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve.

Mayor Al Siebring says the review was prompted by questions about how the municipality manages the reserve.

Timber harvesting in the North Cowichan forest reserve was curtailed last year while the council develops an interim, and then long-term management plan.

Siebring says the council asked staff to determine the highest and best use of the forest.

North Cowichan’s forest reserve covers 25-percent of the municipality’s land base and money earned from timber harvesting was funding scholarships, bursaries, recreation, and capital projects.

The municipality says Lees and Associates of Vancouver have been hired to manage the public engagement process.