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Green Mountain cut on community firewood day
General News · 16th August 2018
CCFC - Carrie
The challenge faced by your Cortes Community Forest Co-op Board is to support operations that are economically viable with a cut that is deemed sufficient by the MoF - while advocating movement toward a ecosystem based management that meets the community’s expectations and reflects the vision we have all worked toward for decades.

A key part of meeting this challenge is understanding your views on what community forest operations should look like. This raises numerous questions: what does ecosystem based management look like on the ground? Can it be quantified? How? What trade-offs are we willing to make to keep the community forest viable? What operational guidelines will the community support?

Few have thought as long and hard about this challenge as Bruce Ellingsen. On Monday evening, he will share his thoughts. CCFC board members will be present to take note of your support and concerns.

This information will guide our input to the Cortes Forestry General Partnership which makes the operational decisions for the community forest lands. It will help us plan for the 5 year review of the community forest operational plan.

We hope you will come prepared with your best thoughts on the current challenges and we will appreciate your taking the time to help us understand the community’s will.

Monday, August 20, 7 pm Mansons Hall
Response to the 15% MAIG essay
Comment by Rob Chapman on 21st August 2018
I have 3 concerns about this approach.
The paper acknowledges that there are few examples found of sustainable relationships that have been quantitatively studied, and goes on to cite studies of Peregrine Falcons and Ancient Murrelets in Haida Gwaii, Polar Bears and Ring Seals in the Arctic, tropical forests and Leaf-Cutter ants, and predator cats and prey in the Serengeti. None of these have anything to do with our Cortes Forests. In a world with millions of small ecosystems, trying to establish generally applicable rules based on minute samples doesn't make sense.
Intuitive beliefs of academics should not be considered when making business decisions.
So the references provided do not provide meaningful support for the conclusion.
The benefits claimed seem grandiose, vague, and non-verifiable in any quantitative sense. Cortes Island will be under the ice again in the next ice age, which will happen far before the end of perpetuity. It is not clear that our forests will contain the same species in a few hundred years, given general climate change. I do not believe that present provincial forest practices are unsustainable. A simple and understandable solution is not a benefit unless it is the right solution. It isn't measurable unless baseline data are obtained and objective, quantitative goals established and periodically checked.
The benefits as stated do not provide a rationale for a decision for change.
The crown forests in BC are owned by the people of BC, currently over 4.5 million. They are generally administered by the provincial Ministry of Forests, with management contracts being given to other entities, including community forests. Contracts generally contain stipulations to ensure that the public lands accrue expected benefits for the owners.
The suggested approach does not seem to give any consideration to maintaining a current level of economic return from crown lands to the owners. Any business case suggesting changing those returns should at least have a solid and detailed rationale for making a change, and clear objectives and quantitative goals which can be measured for determining success.
The idea of having a locally tailored approach to our forests which meets provincial requirements and incorporates current ecological knowledge is appealing, as long as it is done right.