General News · 19th February 2022
I am deeply concerned with Mosaic Forest Management’s draft harvest plan which I think would lead to the forest being cut down faster than it can grow.
So, I wrote Mosaic this letter :
Mosaic Forest Management
Colin Koszman, Land Use Forester
Feb 17 2022
First, I have learned a deep respect for the Klahoose people’s rights and title to their traditional territory, and I feel blessed to be living as I do on Cortes Island. I know there are often complexities that I am not aware of, and I do not want my comments here to harm Klahoose interests or wellbeing in any way.
I appreciate this opportunity to provide input on Mosaic’s draft harvest plans.
I have lived with my wife Christine in Whaletown for over thirty years. My work as a shellfish farmer has kept me happily outdoors for most of that time, and aside from our family, my interests have always been focused primarily on the waters, forests and creatures around me. They have taught me much.
I know that you are hearing from other Cortes Islanders regards our many concerns with Mosaic’s harvest plans. My big concern is with human overshoot ( consuming more than the Earth can afford to give ) and the resulting problems with global heating and loss of biodiversity. But I believe that Mosaic’s first concern is making money. While we might negotiate some changes to Mosaic’s harvest plans, I believe that your underlying problem will remain: A SUSTAINABLE RATE OF TIMBER HARVEST CANNOT PROVIDE AN ATTRACTIVE RATE OF RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR YOUR SHAREHOLDERS OVER THE LONG TERM. The explanation for this is simple enough.
2.5 % per year is considered to be a reasonable estimate of the average annual growth of our forests. This is the ‘’interest’’ on our ‘’capital’’. From that 2.5% growth, nature offers evidence that we might be able to sustainably take out 20% at the most. Field observations suggest that the other 80% is required by the forest ecosystem to sustain itself. So our sustainable harvest rate is 20% of 2.5% = 0.5%. But this 0.5% is our GROSS return on our investment. Next we need to deduct the expenses of labour and management, machinery and fuel, professional consultants, insurance etc required before we have any logs to sell. It is very clear that 0.5% gross return, minus expenses, is VERY CLOSE TO 0% NET RETURN.
The average stand volume in the Cortes Community Forest is likely close to 350-400 cubic metres per hectare. Mosaic lands are, on average, better growing sites, and probably have a somewhat higher volume/ha. Let’s say 500. So 2.5% average annual growth x 500 cubic metres/hectare of standing timber = about 12.5 cubic metres of growth per hectare per year. Multiply our sustainable harvest rate of 20% by those 12.5 cubic metres of growth, and we get a sustainable harvest of 2.5 cubic metre/ha/year. Mosaic says it has about 1084 harvestable hectares on Cortes. So, 2.5 cubic metres per hectare per year x 1084 hectares = Mosaic’s sustainable harvest : 2710 cubic metres/year, LESS THAN HALF THE 6000 to 8000 cubic METRES/YEAR THAT YOU ARE PROPOSING.
With Mosaic’s proposed harvest rate, your shareholders would likely think that you are ‘’ making $ ‘‘ for them, not understanding that their asset is being liquidated.
I look forward to public meetings on Cortes in the spring.
We will need time to think and to talk, and to walk in the forest.
Time without any road building or logging, especially in the Delight and Basil Creek areas.
Thanks for using Reply All when you respond to this letter.
Whaletown, Cortes Island.