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General News · 10th August 2018
CCFC - Carrie
Monday, August 20, 7 pm Mansons Hall

Based on decades of experience and reading, Bruce Ellingsen believes we can determine a rate of timber harvest for the community forest that will result in reasonable assurance that the ecosystems will be sustainable. That number could be as low as 15% of the mean annual increment (the amount of wood the forest adds each year). How did he come up with this number? What are your best thoughts on sustainable forestry?

Come hear Bruce present his ideas for guidelines that would help us implement forestry that can sustain healthy ecosystems for the long term while also allowing a modest harvest for development of a local forest products sector. Following Bruce's presentation, you will be invited to briefly share your thoughts on how to define or quantify sustainable forestry, followed by an open discussion.

This is a community forum for Bruce to present his approach and for the CCFC board to gather information on the community's thoughts, including from those people who do not live here year round.

Please read the attached pdf in preparation.
Response to the Sustainable Forestry paper
Comment by Rob Chapman on 30th 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 Artic, 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 and disparate 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, although past practices were. 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 is appealing if it meets provincial requirements, incorporates current ecological knowledge , and addresses local concerns. As long as it is done right.

...Rob Chapman
Squirrel Cove