An initial group of Cortes Islanders have come together to support a community discussion on the 3-year logging plans announced in January by Mosaic/Island Timberlands. There will be an outdoor community meeting on Saturday, March 12, 3:00 pm to provide some context, basic information, and opportunity for questions and answer (see posters).
You are encouraged to read the following 'Open Letter to Mosaic/Island Timberlands’ which can be signed in one of two ways; copies are available in paper-form for signing at the Gorge Marina Store, Squirrel Cove Store, and the Coop OR there is an online version if that is your preference and which also facilitates signatures from people off-island with the following link https://forms.gle/5S46mvv63mEuBaj46
The open letter will be presented to Mosaic/Island Timberlands.
Open Letter to Mosaic/Island Timberlands
Dear Mosaic/Island Timberlands,
This is an open letter from the undersigned who love Cortes Island - residents, summer community and island visitors, regarding Mosaic’s plan to log on Cortes at the rate of 6,000 - 8,000 m3 per year.
The undersigned respect the inherent rights of title of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, Homalco, & K’omoks First Nations.
We are concerned that our small, rocky island cannot sustain mature forests being logged at this rate presented by Mosaic and such logging will result in a drier, more fragile island with dangerous consequences.
We have three main reasons we are concerned:
First, it is our understanding that Mosaic plans to log faster than Cortes forests can grow back.
Sustainable forestry requires cutting far less than this.
Second, logging rates must adapt to the reality that our forests are struggling under rising climate impacts.
Rapid climate changes are reducing forest resilience and their ability to grow back. Sustainable forestry must account for declining forest growth on Cortes and in BC and for the increasing risks that seedlings will fail to replace the mature forest being logged.
Third, Cortesians rely on our mature forest ecosystems to protect us from rising climate harms.
We rely on our mature forest ecosystems to support stable watersheds for human and wildlife safety. Replacing water-holding mature forests with fire-prone, even-aged, plantations increase our fire danger.
The undersigned will support harvest only within these guidelines:
At an annual volume which is less than 20% of the volume of wood the forest grows each year in the Cortes harvest land base, so forests may increase in volume and age through time.
No cutting or roadbuilding where winter water stands or where there will be harm to riparian areas.
No cutting of trees presently older than 140 years old – these are irreplaceable.
Cortesians invite Mosaic to a respectful community meeting in mid-April in which we expect open dialogue between community and Mosaic so we can begin to work together toward integrating local knowledge into the above stated sustainable harvest.
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