Update on Activities in the Municipal Forest Reserve

At its December 19 meeting, Council heard from many citizens interested in management of the Municipal Forest Reserve, and in particular, the Municipality’s forestry activities within the Reserve.
 
After hearing from the public, Council considered the following motion put forward by Councillor Justice:
 
That Council direct staff to put a pause on any logging, building of roads for logging, the granting of any logging contracts, and the making of any long-term plans for logging in the Stoney Hill area of North Cowichan’s municipal forest, until Council has had the opportunity to fully consider the views of the public and received recommendations from the Forest Advisory Committee, and whatever new committees are struck to consider parks, recreation and environmental issues.
 
Council discussed the motion and decided to postpone a decision until: a) Council finishes its priority planning exercise and establishes a Strategic Plan, b) Council tours the Municipal Forest Reserve, and c) Council receives a detailed staff report about our forest operations.  These steps are anticipated to be completed in early 2019.
 
No logging contracts are in place for the Stoney Hill area at this time, and none will be issued for Stoney Hill until Council has completed this discussion. Some logging contracts will carry over from 2018 to 2019 in other areas of the Forest Reserve and will proceed. Staff continue to develop the 2019 annual harvesting plan and prepare for other harvesting activities that may be pursued in 2019, subject to Council review.
 
Background information on the Municipal Forest Reserve is available here:https://www.northcowichan.ca/EN/main/departments/parks-recreation/forestry.html