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General News · 28th August 2008
Jenny Hiebert
The Sunshine Coast Forest District has confirmed that the 680-acre woodlot proposed in the Squirrel Cove area will be offered to Mills Holding Ltd. enabling the conversion of Replaceable Timber Sale Licence A20493. The area of the woodlot is between the residential areas of Squirrel Cove and Seaford and surrounds the Recycling Centre. It is the exact area as presented at the June 5, 2008 Open House held in the Pioneer Room at Manson's Hall.

Prior to the issuance of the woodlot, Mills Holding Ltd. must prepare and have approved a management plan. This plan considers the constraints in the area and outlines objectives to insure the 905 cubic metre cut can be maintained in perpetuity. The management plan is not open to public review.

Before harvestiing or road building begins, the licensee must prepare and make available for public and first nations review a woodlot licence plan. This plan outlines the results the licensee is to achieve on the woodlot area. Public notification guidelines are outlined in legislation and Mills Holding Ltd will determine how the plan is advertised.

A wood lot licence makes crown timber available for harvest and has an assigned Annual Allowable Cut (AAC). Not all wood lot licence holders harvest to the full extent of their AAC however, if the lands are not harvested within a five year period the province can offer the cutting rights to another entity.

The province is expanding the woodlot program throughout the province. Within the Sunshine Coast Forest District, Cortes has been evealuated of potential woodlot expansion but currently no new licences have been defined.

The area of a coastal woodlot has doubled and new licences can encompass up to 800 hectares. Legislation outlines appropriate woodlot applicants as: an individual, a partnership, a corpporation or a first nation. Societies cannot hold a woodlot licence. Additional changes to legistlation allow a woodlot licensee to hold two woodlot licences.

In the past woodlot applicants with the ability to contribute a substantial area of private land scored higher during the application process. Now primary weighting, a full 50% of the application score, is based upon the bonus offer (cash). This allows applicants that don't have private land the opportunity to attain a woodlot licence.

Given the ongoing community interest in forest practices on Cortes, the community might wish to pursue the possibilities of forming a partnership or corporation capable of applying for a woodlot licence should another become available on the island. This idea does not diminish the long-term goal of attaining a community forest but offers another potential avenue for the community to gain access to forest land and develop a working ecosystem based forestry model.
brian mills
Comment by ian king on 4th September 2008
funny enough, i installed a solar system for brian,i did have a very long conversation with him in regards to forestry, and i think if people sat down and understood where he was coming from, something could be worked for everyone.i hope everyone can keep there minds open.