We are exploring options for the management of the Municipal Forest Reserve, and we want to hear from you!
Municipal Forest Reserve review engagement opportunities
November 17, 2022
Community members are invited to share their input as part of North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR) review. Round 2 of public engagement will provide opportunities for people to learn about the four potential forest management scenarios, and to tell us which approach is most appealing.
Three information sessions are scheduled, which will include a presentation on the scenarios, follow by questions and discussion:
- In-person: Wednesday, November 30, 3–7pm (presentations at 3:30 and 6pm), Maple Bay Fire Hall, 1230 Maple Bay Road
- Online: Tuesday, December 6, and Monday, December 12, both 6–8pm (RSVP required for the online sessions as space is limited)
An online survey will be available soon, and it will close December 31. A representative phone survey will be conducted by a polling company. If you are called to participate, you will be provided with a special link to complete a survey at your leisure. More information, including links to RSVP to the online information sessions, is available at connectnorthcowichan.ca/mfr
The four potential forest management scenarios were developed by the UBC Partnership Group (UBC, 3GreenTree Consulting) that considered input on values heard during Round 1 last fall. The scenarios reflect ecological, economic, and social criteria and indicators, and represent a spectrum of timber harvesting and carbon credit revenue options.
Feedback heard during this round of public engagement will be presented to Council in early 2023 as part of a ‘what we heard’ report. The UBC Group will use the feedback to adjust the potential forest management scenarios (if necessary) and present these to Council for a decision. A detailed forest management plan will then need to be developed to support the preferred scenario.
The Municipality of North Cowichan is one of the few communities in North America that both owns and manages forest lands for the benefit of residents. Since 1946, the MFR has been managed as a working forest. The MFR is also a popular site for recreation, and a destination by visitors from Vancouver Island and beyond. In response to public concerns about logging activities, North Cowichan Council launched a public engagement process on the MFR as well as a technical review of forest management practices. A parallel, though separate, government-to-government discussion is underway with the Quw’utsun Nation. Details, background reports, and additional information can be found at: connectnorthcowichan.ca/mfr