North Cowichan’s decision on the Municipal Forest Reserve is getting a little more time for public input.
The municipality had created a survey on the decision with an original end date of December 31st, but after a concerned citizen wrote to council, the deadline has now been extended to January 31st.
The survey presents residents with four possibilities for the future of the reserve in terms of timber harvesting… those being status quo, reduced harvesting, active conservation, and passive conservation.
Councillor Tek Manhas says a decision of this magnitude shouldn’t be rushed.
“The writer here is absolutely correct,” says Manhas. “We went through this with the OCP where we rushed it through with the heat of the summer. People were away, it’s not on their mind. We’re doing the same thing here […] I know it’s a hot topic with people, so we should give them the time. When they’re thinking about Christmas and the holidays, they’re not thinking about the survey.”
Mayor Rob Douglas asked if the extension would add any impact in terms of added costs or ability to complete any projects within the MFR. After staff confirmed that there were no concerns about either of those issues, the decision to extend was passed unanimously by council.
We did a breakdown of each of the four options and their ramifications earlier in the month. You can find the survey on the Connect North Cowichan platform.