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North Cowichan is reviewing its forest reserve management practices, with the intent to develop options for a future management plan.
In response to public interest in harvesting activities and requests for a review of forest management, Council implemented strong limits on harvesting in 2019. This review and the public engagement process was developed as a result of that public interest, and Council direction.
A broad range of stakeholders, as well as the public, will be encouraged to share their thoughts on the Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR). This feedback will be used by the UBC Partnership Group (UBC, 3GreenTree Consulting, and Coastal Douglas Fir Conservation Partnership) to conduct a technical review and develop forest management options (‘scenarios’). The technical review will support the public engagement process by providing the information needed for informed public participation, and the public engagement process will inform the evaluation of the technical scenarios and options.
Approximately 25 per cent of North Cowichan’s land base is municipal forest reserve. This managed forest – 5,000+ hectares – has been a municipally owned working forest since 1946. The forest provides revenue for the municipality, which offset residential and business property taxes, as well as serving as a significant recreational area for the community and visitors.
Note: An updated timeline will be shown should Council direct staff to resume public engagement.
A 16-member public engagement working group has been formed to help shape engagement activities and materials. The Public Engagement Working Group will meet approximately four (4) times throughout the engagement process. Minutes from these meetings will be posted here: Working Group
A list of local organizations have been identified as stakeholders in this project, and receive project updates and invitations to public engagement activities. If you are part of a local organization with an interest in the municipal forest reserve and would like be on our stakeholder list email us at email@example.com
Updates, FAQs, background, and past Council decisions on the MFR are updated and added regularly here: Background & Resources
When the municipal forest review process resumes, there will be many chances to share your feedback and thoughts. Sign up for the Forestry Review & Engagement newsletter to learn about engagement opportunities and project updates by email.