Time to move to public forest reserve review
Re: municipal forest reserve public consultation
Dear North Cowichan mayor and council:
I hope this letter finds you well and safe.
I now implore North Cowichan council to conclude its in-camera forest reserve input meetings with Cowichan Tribes by January’s end, then shift to the public portion of the long-promised review about use of our vital Six Mountains reserve.
I and others have urged council to ban all logging in our reserve.
Those views are now supported by evidence in a municipal report citing 141 species at risk — allegedly due to development, logging and habitat loss — in our precious forests.
That species at risk report sadly follows the deplorable, worrying news at year’s end that B.C.’s Ombudsman is officially probing council’s alleged secrecy about establishing the forestry review’s working group and its open meetings.
Such alleged secrecy mocks and undermines the transparency mayor and council promised to deliver — and took an oath to do so.
For council to be using alleged secrecy tactics plus private meetings, while allegedly ignoring species at risk and curbing public forestry talks, is disgraceful and unnecessary.
Councillors unwilling or unable to move these crucial, overdue forest reserve talks ahead publicly should resign now and let other caring folks deliver municipal policies respecting nature and all North Cowichan residents.
Peter W. Rusland