General News · 21st February 2022
Mosaic Forest Management
Colin Koszman, Land Use Forester
Feb 19, 2022
Thank you and the rest of your team for taking the time to do your recent Zoom presentation with some limited Q&A time for Cortes Islanders. During that presentation, I recall one of you saying that Mosaic is a new company and that you are just beginning to explore the landbase of your Cortes Island holdings. I'm sorry that I cannot be clearer on the exact wording because of course there is no recording of the Zoom presentation available to check the veracity of my memory.
But as a full time resident of Cortes Island for over thirty years, one thing I am very clear on is that Cortes Island is an ISLAND. It has a very defined and closed boundary with the sea. And when something affects one part of the island, it ripples out to affect the whole.
Wolves, cougars and the occasional bear are our usually distant and wary forest dwelling neighbours. But when logging affects their habitat and wildlife routes, then that wildlife is sometimes forced into our backyards, into closer and potentially dangerous contact with the human community. This is part of our history.
While I appreciate the statements that were made regarding fire mitigation; having fire-fighting gear and trained personnel on standby during logging operations and reducing fire risk by chipping and redistributing wood waste into the forest instead of slash burning it, that is only a short term effort. In the long term, removing mature trees can change the hydrology of the soils making it harder for them to absorb and hold water. Removing mature trees reduces shading and exposes the ground to the drying and heating effects of the sun and when that cut block is replanted, it repositions the more flammable tree crowns from a safer 20-30m high to ground level. During the increasingly hot summer droughts, we islanders live in a high state of wildfire awareness. When a fire gets out of control on an island, there is literally NOWHERE TO RUN.
Colin, I am sure that you can appreciate that these are matters of personal security and safety that affect our community. I am asking Mosaic to do thorough public consultation and risk assessment studies and then make those studies available to the Cortes community for our consideration and input before any road building or logging begins. Mosaic is just beginning to learn about their Cortes Island holdings but there are folks here who have tremendous local knowledge of those lands under your care. Go ahead and ask us for our thoughts!
I'm looking forward to your response.
Mansons Landing, Cortes Island