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General News · 30th April 2019
Ralph Keller
If you live, work, or recreate in the Discovery Islands, you should know there is a landscape management review taking place. It is formally called the 2019 Sunshine Coast Forest District Visual Quality Objective Review.

It has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development that the Discovery Islands have high scenic values which may need increased protection. Currently, much of the area has a Visual Quality Objective (VQO) of Partial Retention or Modification. These two designations allow for cutblock sizes to range between 7 - 18% visual modification of the landscape. A local group of citizens and outdoor recreationists are proposing the VQO designation of Retention which allows for 0-1.5% visual modification. This will ensure that many of the marine corridors in the Discovery Islands will see significantly reduced levels of visual clearcuts going forward. But increased protection will only come with broad public support.

Read, Cortes, East & West Redonda, Raza, & Stuart Islands are included along with significant portions of the mainland coast and inlets. (Please Note: Quadra and Sonora Islands are not in the Sunshine Coast Forest District VQO Review. Quadra and Sonora are in the Campbell River Forest District and will have a review in 2 years.)

Raising Visual Quality Objectives to Retention does not stop forest industry activities in the area. Logging will continue but with greater care and in some instances, at a slower rate.

If you support increased protection for the beautiful coastlines of the Discovery Islands, contact:

FLNRO&RD District Manager Derek Lefler,
Use the subject line: Sunshine Coast/Discovery Islands 2019 VQO Review

With Copies to:
Honourable Doug Donaldson, Minister of FLNRO&RD

-Tell him you live here and/or own land here and want to see increased levels of landscape protection in the Discovery Islands.

-You want forest landscape management elevated to the VQO level of Retention or higher

*Remember, a long passionate letter is great but a succinct letter of 3 or 4 lines also works quite well.

For an easy to understand reference to Visual Quality Objectives, use this government site:
A BC Guide to Visual Quality Objectives

For more information contact:

Ralph Keller,
response to ralph
Comment by michel levesque on 11th May 2019
And Ralph I understand where you are coming from but don't agree. Unless the aac is reduced throughout the province, once again who cares? So they hide the clearcuts for a few years, then come back when they can't hide it anymore meanwhile increasing the cut elsewhere.
I haven't stopped any clearcuts recently. Neither have you I'm guessing, you just moved them elsewhere. I understand if people want a pristine landscape to flog on the open market, everyone needs money, thats the system we have to work with it seems. But me, I like forests and don't care for tourists and I think people should be aware of what is going on in the woods. Hiding it here and concentrating it where it is not visible is just making it harder for ecosystems to recuperate. But no disrespect to you ralph. I'm sorry we will not stop till we sell every last stick and alter every last ecosystem. Good for you for poking the logging multinationals with a pointy stick !
Response to Michel
Comment by Ralph Keller on 6th May 2019
Hi Michel,
I hear you and I mostly agree. We should be more concerned with ecology and climate change than "hiding" the cut blocks behind veils of trees. I am trying to be pragmatic here. If I go to the government and demand they protect ecosystems and forests for climate change mitigation, guess how far I'll get?

If however, I can argue that local business and the recreating public (a.k.a. voters) don't want to see clearcuts, we can slow the cut rate down--maybe 15%. This is far from perfect but far better than nothing. By making the Discovery Islands a world class place to visit and live, it becomes easier to protect it even more.

I get called down by the forest licensees big time for trying to reduce their cut. It's ironic that I get called down by fellow islanders for not going far enough.

FYI, We took InterFor to court for Visual Landscape violations in the Discovery Islands and won. Shortly thereafter, they eliminated or reduced the size of about 6 proposed cutblocks here. How many cutblocks have you stopped recently? If you haven't this might be your chance.

who cares
Comment by michel Levesque on 1st May 2019
What? We are going to support hiding criminal forest practices ? If the plundering of forests for the timber happens it should be seen. We should hide what we do so more fossil fuel burning units can come give us some money and we can all keep pretending.... Myself I would rather see the clearcuts and fiberfarms.
Thanks Ralph
Comment by Lovena on 1st May 2019
Super appreciate you posting this information. The visual blight along our marine corridors needs to be mitigated if we intend to enjoy our coastline and promote eco-tourism in the coming decades.
I'll definitely write a letter.