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General News · 13th May 2022
Chris Dragseth
The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society would like to provide
the Cortes community an update on our discussions with Mosaic Forest Management and Mosaic’s BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative.

The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society was formed to purchase Island Timberlands forest land holdings immediately adjacent to Carrington Bay Park. These five parcels (~600 acres) are known locally as the Children’s Forest. Our Society’s objective is that these forest lands will be held in trust for all the children of Cortes Island, in perpetuity. They will offer educational, recreational, cultural and spiritual value for all our children. They will provide the opportunity for our youth to embrace and practise stewardship of forest lands and watersheds.

Our Society has been in discussions to purchase the Children’s Forest with Island Timberlands (IT) since 2013. Unfortunately, there was very limited progress during the early stages. Starting in 2019, shortly after Mosaic Forest Management (Mosaic) took over management of IT lands, Society Directors renewed discussions with Mosaic. Because of the relationship built over the last two years, Mosaic reached out to our Society to advise us of their inclusion of 3 of the 5 parcels (~350 acres) of the Children’s Forest, in their recent forest carbon offset initiative, BigCoast Climate Forest Initiative. Mosaic offered to remove these parcels if our Society had strong objection.

Over the past weeks, our Board has carried out due diligence and had many discussions with Mosaic, our advisors & associates on the merits and drawbacks of BigCoast, and after careful consideration of our particular situation, have agreed that leaving trees standing in the Children’s Forest for 25 years outweighs the drawbacks. Our Directors, advisors & associates are expressing “cautious optimism”.

Our recent Board decision, therefore supports Mosaic’s inclusion of three of five parcels of the Children’s Forest in the BigCoast project, based on our Society’s mandate to conserve these forests for future generations.

Inclusion of these parcels does not prevent a future purchase of these parcels. Mosaic and our Society will work together on the future of the parcels included in the project, with the certainty that in the interim they will be managed for carbon and not harvested for the next 25 years.

The two remaining core parcels of the Children’s Forest adjacent to Carrington Lagoon were not included in BigCoast in order to allow the productive acquisition discussions that are underway with Mosaic to continue.

Although this arrangement is a different path than what our Society envisaged, our goal to preserve the Children’s Forest remains intact. Our Board remains committed to the eventual purchase of all five parcels, but has prioritized a realistic goal of initially purchasing two core parcels. We will continue to work with Mosaic to ensure our ultimate vision is maintained. There is much work to be done. Our Society will continue to update the Cortes community as this work progresses.

FTCCIS Directors – Chris Dragseth, Chair; Christine Robinson, Secretary; Andrew Smyth, Treasurer; Kiera Tsakonas, Youth Director; Connie Brill, Mary Lavelle, and Sadhu Johnston.

FTCCIS Honourary Director – Andy Ellingsen

FTCCIS Educational & Research Associates – Sabina Leader Mense, Andy MacKinnon and Briony Penn

FTCCIS Advisor - Joseph Pallant/ Ecotrust Director of Climate Innovation

“Imagine … a forest in trust to the children!”