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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.
Click to view an updated timeline [PDF] for this project.
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.
You are invited to share your input as part of North Cowichan’s MFR review. Round 1 of public engagement will provide opportunities to share what you value about the MFR, and to learn more. Feedback heard through this round of engagement will be used to inform potential forest management scenarios being prepared by the UBC Partnership Group. These forest management scenarios will be reviewed by Council, and then shared with the community for their feedback in spring 2022.
Facilitated Zoom workshops were offered on four dates in late November and early December 2021. Thank you to everyone who joined us to learn more, participate, and share about what you value about the Municipal Forest Reserve. For those who missed these sessions, a recording of the presentation portion of the workshop can be viewed below.
The Engagement Working Group has assembled key high-level information in a Discussion Guide. This Guide is meant as a companion document to support people to learn about the background of the MFR and the current review process as they complete the survey or attend a workshop during Round 1.
The Engagement Working Group (EWG) is made up of North Cowichan residents from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints who provide important advice and input on the engagement process. The EWG will meet 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
In 2020, the UBC Partnership Group conducted a carbon offset feasibility study. Learn more here.
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.