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General News · 5th April 2015
sonya friesen
Some points in reference to start up of logging in the CF

A commitment to share logging plans with the community at a minimum of three months prior to start up, including road building, etc.

A commitment to discuss openly with the community the volume planned for this years and future harvest and how we move towards“establishing a clear method for determining a harvest rate within the constraints of ecosystem based management, the precautionary principle, and a strategy to age the forest.” ( as stated in our operating plan )

The 2000 CF potential Management plan had an approx. 1389 ha. THLB (Crown portion only) The 2013 plan 2515 ha. THLB. Since 2000 many ha. were logged in the Weyerhouser/IT managed forest lands, some in the Klahoose woodlot, and on private lands. Deforestation of these lands although of course not included in the totals of the past or the present CF THLB will and should influence how we establish the THLB and resulting sustainable AAC, whether its multiplied by a 4.6 MAI or 10 % .46 These past and future logging activities on lands outside the CF definitely impact the ecological integrity of the CF and the whole Cortes landscape.

When we start logging, Island Timberlands is not far behind. The reasons IT has for logging will be similar to ours, debts to pay and logging contractors needing commitment from management for a guaranteed volume of cut. Cost to profit margins influencing choice of a site close to existing roads and with a stand of merchantable second growth. We will I assume, harvest in a more ecologically sensitive way, leave the old growth, stay off the riparian reserve zones and try to market some logs here etc. But when we ask an IT forester to present a sustainable long term logging plan, that is based on a EBM approach, how will our commitment to EBM compare?

The planned harvest and the re-opening of access roads will negitivly impact the wetlands of Larson's meadow, the significant Old growth and recruitment patches below Cowan's peek, the connecting wildlife and riparian corridors of recovering ecosystems that are thriving in the “interior” of the core area between Basil and Hanson creeks. IT will most likely re-open roads and start logging from the Basil Creek side. Hard to see the positive.

If we start out with a precautionary volume perhaps we can locally process a larger percentage of the logs here, search for a small sawmill on Vancouver Island or in the least BC that would buy the rest of the logs. When the answer comes back “there are none” use the power in that statement to convince the gov. Ministry why we will be harvesting only a small % of the allocated AAC. Stating we have a commitment to BC jobs before profits from raw logs. This might buy us time to slowly develop a few forestry and processing jobs here. Most likely would not turn a profit but offer an alternative to locking into a reckless AAC, requiring industrial scale equipment, and possible 90% log export.

Sonya Friesen, member of the Cortes Forest Community