This is a question that we struggle to understand given that there appear to be no significant benefits to anyone. Annual revenue to the government total approximately $1000 for license fees and stumpage – a minuscule amount. Logging occurs once every 2-4 years, employing only a handful of people for a period of weeks. In contrast, the costs of logging are significant and readily apparent. Logging threatens the quality of the established trail network. Hundreds of people frequent the area while horseback riding, hiking, trail running, geocaching, biking or walking their dogs. Already logging has occurred to some of key portions of the historic Copley Ridge trail, significantly diminishing its value. Logging has removed the “twin sisters” – two majestic cedar trees – that marked the beginning of the twin sisters trail. Over time there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to walk through intact mature Coastal Douglas Fir forest. Instead, trails will pass mainly through clearcuts and fir plantations, an experience for which there is no shortage of opportunities on Vancouver Island!
Logging will also impact the biodiversity value of this forest. The Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem that occurs in the woodlot is on its way to recovering from past selective logging that dates back to the 1930’s, and provides habitat for many hundreds of species. Logging will reverse the recovery of this forest, creating a much younger and less diverse forest that is less capable of supporting the species characteristic of the Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem.
It appears to us that the Ministry of Forests has only viewed this area through the lens of “fibre production” – as simply another forest to be logged and hasn’t considered managing this forest for non-timber values such as recreation and biodiversity, despite the fact that its one of the few remaining parcels of publicly owned land on this stretch of Vancouver Island.
We hope to convince the Ministry that this land should be saved from logging considering that so many citizens enjoy this land and we wish to protect the forest for future generations to enjoy. We wish to convince the Minister of Forests that the majority of citizens in this riding don’t want to see this forest treated as a woodlot.