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  • (2023-02-12) Comment from Sierra Quadra regarding renewal of WL 2032

    Bonnie Brownstein

    Dear Dave Younger, John Marlow and District Manager Lesley Fettes:

    I live on Quadra Island and am writing on behalf of the Executive Committee of Sierra Quadra. This is my comment regarding the application for approval of a new Woodlot Licence Plan (WLP) for Woodlot Licence W2032. From what I have read, this application should not be accepted as it stands, but should be amended. We are actively hoping to avoid polarization because Dave and John are upstanding citizens of Quadra and we want an outcome that both protects old forest and supports Dave in making a living from his woodlot. 

    As you know, the 1925 fire that burned much of the forests on Quadra did not touch the area that is now Woodlot Licence W2032. For this reason there is genuine old forest left there worthy of protection.

    Let me summarize my concerns regarding old forest in Woodlot 2032:

    1. There are about 109 hectares of rare old forest (CWHxm2) remaining on the woodlot. The proposed plan shows only 20.5 hectares being in an “old forest reserve.” The initial plan (2011) showed 56 hectares of old forest reserves. Because the occurrence of old forest in this biogeoclimatic zone variant is now rare (on Quadra, but also in the entire BEC zone), all 109 hectares should be reserved as old forest. Instead, the plan would allow logging any tree younger than 250 years in 88.5 hectares of old forest (109-20.5 = 88.5). That logging would ruin that area of old forest as a biodiversity reserve.

    2. The Woodlot Planning and Practices Regulation does not allow any logging to occur in wildlife tree patches, so asserting that these patches only need trees that are 250 years and older to be viable at supporting wildlife is not supported by the legislation applicable to woodlots.

    3. Denuding the old forest of younger trees, standing snags and woody debris not only eliminates the potential of these areas of old forest for biodiversity conservation, it will make them more vulnerable to forest fire and wind throw

    4. The highly questionable amendment made in 2019 switched old forest reserves - long mapped as such by TimberWest - for an area that previously had not been mapped as old forest. Following that amendment, which was apparently not see by anyone at the Ministry of Forests (formerly FLNROD) Campbell River District office, logging of trees 250 years and older occurred when roads were built through two of these old forest reserves.

    5. Given this history, the pledge that no trees 250 years and older will be logged on the woodlot cannot be counted on. Based on the amendment made in 2019 which was not signed off on by the Campbell River District Office of FLNROD, it seems that your Woodlot Plan was unilaterally amended. Of course this is not usual procedure, but you can understand that trust will need to be rebuilt.

    I have read the proposal for the WLP for W2032 at www.quadraislandwoodlots.ca, plus all the correspondence about this in the Discovery Islander and the piece about this in the Discovery Islands Forest Conservation Project website https://www.discoveryislandsforestconservationproject.ca/

    I ask that Younger Brothers not be allowed to log the area of rare old primary forest that has already been flagged just west of Darkwater Lake. I also ask that Younger Brothers remove plans to log the area of W2032 that TimberWest previously mapped as “old forest” when it was part of TFL 47. I request that all other areas of remaining old forest in Woodlot 2032 be carefully identified, mapped and set aside from any plans for logging. This plan should not be approved until all these concerns have been addressed.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Bonnie Brownstein for Sierra Quadra

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