General News · 4th April 2015
I worked in the forest products industry for 48 years, the first 15 as a wholesaler visiting sawmills, and logging opperations throughout B.C., Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alberta. Then for 30 years, I was sales manager for a large integrated lumber company in the Interior of B.C. Our forestry department, and woodlands personel were considered among the best for their innovations, adherence to proper logging practices, and consideration of the communities they worked in.
I took the opportunity last Monday, to take the walk through the first logging area of the Community Forest Partnership in Larson's Meadow with John Marlowe, the General Manager of the Company, John Ross, the road builder and logging manager, and about a dozen other interested residents of Cortes Island - all of whom had been involved in the Community Woodlot.
It was very clear that all of the communities input over the last 25-26 years; especially over the last 2-3 years, when the community had MANY opportunities to express their wishes, debate operational ideas, consider many appropriate options to do the job right; that the communities wishes had been thoroughly discussed, and investigated by the Partnership, along with John, to ensure that the logging efforts all met with community acceptance in all regards.
It was certainly obvious that John's experience, and John Ross's experience with their own wood lots on Quadra, and Vacouver Island made them absolutely aware of our Communities expectations, and all their plans would fall within those guidelines. At one point John indicated to the adjacent neighbour that he would walk the buffer area between the logging area and their property to clarify what trees would be taken down, or left standing to protect the owners property -a clear indication of what will be done for the community!
At the meeting later at Mansons, with about 40 people, John discussed the main areas of concern that were most important as indicated by the last community input. There will be a firewood allocation - some details to be worked out between commercial interests, and individuals. The need for safety is most important in this area. He discussed a concern from someone in the audience about bird life in the area, and indicated that this is already being monitored, and will be considered in their efforts. John indicated that all logs will be first offered to any local mills at fair market prices, so they will have availability to use this resource on the Island. He indicated that they will have two UBC students working for the summer, doing an inventory of log species, and sizes, and also looking at bird and wildlife situations within our Timber Licence Area.
The most obvious thing that came across is that the Partnership and John have done all their homework, will implement the Communities expectations to the best of their ability, and the Community of Cortes Island will be the beneficiary of their efforts! It is also a most important step to begin opperations now. The Government expects that the opperations to begin as soon as possible, so we can fulfil the contractual obligations we are committed to. It also means that the sooner we get started, the sooner we might make a profit that can be shared by the Community of Cortes Island.