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General News · 2nd March 2016
Sonya Friesen
To the Cortes Community
Questions sent to CFGP , prior to Squirrel Cove logging

In reference to continued harvesting of Cortes Island Forests. Whether it is Island Timberlands, The Community Forest General Partnership, the neighbours, whomever we are representing or opposing could we please stop the talk, walk and log. We need to address what so many of us have been asking for over the last 30 yrs of protesting BC' s deforestation. Be sure of what we have in those forests before we continue to take away the habitat of the others, sensitive ecosystems, carbon sequestration, the equity of timber growing, old growth recruitment areas, wild harvests, soil health, water quality, local forestry jobs.

1. We need to establish how we are going to proceed with verifying our community forest THLB . What really is considered potentially harvest-able not just from a timber analysis but also habitat loss, wildlife corridors, carbon sequestration,etc. Also access into some areas in the existing THLB both from an economic perspective and an environmental protection perspective may not be realistic to include in the THLB.

2. We need members to understand what is meant by THLB timber harvest land base and what is meant when people suggest 10% or 20% of that MAI. or AIG mean annual increment or annual incremental growth . According to our 2013 management plan the MAI is 4.6 m3/ha/yr and the THLB is 2515 ha. the 2000 management plan THLB approx. 1400 ha. I understand the AAC is calculated by THLB x MAI

3. We need to consider presenting a 5 yr plan in the least

4. We need to include the impact of logging on private managed forest lands, Klahoose woodlot, and private rural lands has on establishing a sustainable AAC within the Community Forest . Landscape level planning including knowing what has been logged on all these lands in the past and in the future must be considered. We have to look at the Island whole, it is a great opportunity.

5. We need to remember that from an EBM approach the actual profit from operations could simply be the local jobs created themselves. Small actual profit after costs of logging a much smaller volume today could be directed towards the much needed inventory work. What is postponed from logging now will only be money, habitat or carbon sequestration in the bank for future generations. We should train local young people to perhaps minor in falling and large equipment investing and major instead in milling, woodworking etc. If the AAC is established at the given amount logging contractors and workers will make investments banked on this and lively hoods of families will be affected if the annual cut rate is not maintained. This is 2016 and after years of planning lets not perpetuate the age old conflict jobs vrs environment.

Sonya Friesen

Squirrel Cove logging

Again these points are simply a uninspired attempt to respond to specifics of the Squirrel Cove logging plan without a much needed big picture long term plan.
The spur road that heads through the mature forest block sq4 will open up easier human access to the OGMA area close to it and the logging will definitely negatively impact the forest community surrounding and within. The plan of a wide walking path off this road and into the OGMA itself would not be positive for that small recovering ecosystem. How wide is the spur road ? and what volume will be taken just to put it in place, plus the planned cut ?

This area SQ4 is of great potential if left. It shows qualities necessary for recruitment towards future OGMA's. These few clusters of Old Growth trees are amongst a recovering forest ecosystem that supports them.They do not represent much of a ecosystem standing alone. As we fragment the continuity between these forests it is hard to imagine them strengthening. According to the SEI maps mature forests(> 80 yrs) with 10% component of old forest( > 250yrs ) make up a very small total % of the community forest THLB. Not to mention a small percentage of all of the BC coastal forest base. Mature second growth forests, especially red cedar like these forests are not as common as once thought. This mapping of course needs ground check inventory and from more than just from a timber analysis perspective.

Personally I do not support reasoning to leave individual trees because of a certain width ( as in what does this define) .! Nor do i support reasoning stating if we don't log it now we will open the flood gates to all out clear cutting by some other forest tenure contractor.

I would support considerations of tree species, age, present or potential habitat, wind stability , soil, proximity to other OG, riparian zones, creeks, present or future merchantable value, safety or danger to the faller, future intention for the areas and the trees left standing as some what logical forest management. I am sure John has used this reasoning and it would be helpful for the community to be informed of these specifics in the written plan in reference to why certain trees are left, and certain areas more stems per ha.taken. The more info shared the more productive the dialogue to find common ground.

As to the human's not liking the view of blocks SQ2 SQ5 adjacent to Squirrel Cove Rd "seeing them is believing" If we support the logging then why not look at it? Tourism should go hand in hand with good EBM forestry planning . Better to log close to an existing road already cutting through a forest then to build a new one and cut deeper into the forest. The reasons given that thin leave strips of trees between a cut block and a road likely blowing down on hydro lines or blow down caused by adjacent logging to neighbouring property are legitimate concerns. A reason to consider not logging in SQ5 is that it is a very wet area.,some OG etc. SQ2 has a small creek that empties into it from the riparian wetland corridors across the road fed from the north side of Cowen wetlands.
Sonya Friesen