As the public ponders the various manipulated options for managing the North Cowichan Forests the silliness and eco-nonsense from the anti-forestry anti-logging crowd has intensified in our local media. This well funded campaign has never disclosed where its money to stop logging in this municipal jewel is coming from . Is this where some of the $2 million Fairy Creek fundraising ended up?
For over 40 years these forests have produced millions in revenue for local businesses, property owners, taxpayers and their dependent families that spend these dollars locally. The local economic benefit of the proposed 30-year carbon contract is—at best—much smaller and unproven. It takes years of bureaucratic wrangling to ever see any of these revenues – if at all. North Cowichan’s forests and their management were once admired by other local governments. Now our politicians have been duped into stopping logging and creating a quagmire of fake concern about sustainable forestry.
North Cowichan is the only municipal forest owner in BC that is considering killing its successful forestry business, egged on by people with little understanding of forest ecology and long on environmental shrillness. It hired a bunch of unqualified university professors with little or no real world experience to present faulty options that poorly reflect on the real value of wood and exaggerated the potential economic benefits of carbon credits.
So called carbon credits are a way of allowing industrial polluters to pollute even more by paying someone else to plant or preserve trees and store carbon.
The data used in the analysis is also highly suspect, suggesting that these forests can only produce annual growth of under 20,000 cubic metres per year. Most coastal Douglas fir forests have annual yields per hectare far in excess of that. Using faulty data produces useless options and that’s what North Cowichan has achieved in this boondoggle.
The UBC options are also missing an important public choice – option 5 – would be for the Municipality to sell its 5,000 hectares of second growth forests to an entity that would actually manage them sustainably and produce all the employment and ecological benefits, including carbon storage, that come from a well-managed forest.