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General News · 8th May 2022
John Drew
By Malcolm Gladwell’s standard I am an expert in Forest Science; as I more than meet the 10,000-hour base he requires of an expert. I am also a retired registered professional forester with a PhD in plant physiology and forest genetics. Over a long career, I helped create more than two million acres of new forest. As such, I found Noba's recent Tideline posting, "Our Community Rises Again with the Forests" troubling on a number of counts.

In an otherwise dark tombstone picture of Cortes, Noba shows my beautiful forest of 20-year-old, 40-foot-tall Douglas-fir, as the one bright, shining red on the Whaletown side of the Island; however, equates red as being bad. “Why, in Noba's article, is there no appreciation or value given to young forests?

Noba total love of old forests will not give us healthier forest ecosystems. Forests are robust because the organisms of the forest are to be found in all ages of forests and because each species of organism blooms at particular stand ages and micro-conditions. In the simplest of examples, grouse, sparrows, flycatchers and deer like the young blocks; woodpeckers and murrelets like old forests and some like both. The healthiest forest landscapes have blocks with all ages represented. That we have so much of Cortes dark in Noba’s picture is either a product of photoshop or it heralds a tragedy, telling us we’ve failed diversity.

I wonder how smart it is for the leaders of this to standup in public forum and brag about their successful use of political power to target and change McMillan Bloedel's zoning, and how they derailed my subdivision after it was approved and how, in similar vein, Mosaic's operation can be blocked. Yesterday’s dark days for democracy don’t translate to the now or, at least, don’t have too.

Both the Klahoose and Community Forest recently harvested wood, so the very idea of singling out Mosaic and challenging them for doing what others have done, seems discriminatory, with a dash of bully. Targeting and singling out a person or organization for special treatment is illegal in Canada, likely deem-able an act of hate. With homesteading an idea of the past and wild-fire generally controlled, harvesting becomes our major opportunity for forest renewal. In this context, Mosaic’s plans are too important a topic to get derailed by a few who are out for “game”. When Bertha asked the question about whether Mosaic forestry plans should go ahead, 67% of respondents said, “Yes!”

Mosaic has just rebuilt the skids at their log dump which is both timely and generous, especially for the Community Forest who were able to send-down the first logs. Mosaic, with its legions of technical competence, could be a valuable contributor to helping solve our major forest issue: the hundreds of acres of overmature, falling-down hemlock which is a dominant forest type in our Community Forest.
Mosaic have planned an Open House for May 17th, from 10:00 – 3:00 at the Gorge Hall and their foresters are attending and available for questions? I sure hope you’ll make time to be there and provide your support.

John Drew