Municipal Forest Reserve Review

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North Cowichan is reviewing its forest reserve management practices, with the intent to develop options for a future management plan.

Help shape the future of the management of the Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR) by participating in opportunities presented through this process.

During Round 2 (Fall 2022), you will be asked to consider four potential forest management scenarios and help determine a preferred option. These scenarios were developed by the UBC Partnership Group (UBC, 3GreenTree Consulting) that considered input on values heard during Round 1 in Fall 2021. The scenarios reflect ecological, economic, and social criteria and indicators, and represent a

North Cowichan is reviewing its forest reserve management practices, with the intent to develop options for a future management plan.

Help shape the future of the management of the Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR) by participating in opportunities presented through this process.

During Round 2 (Fall 2022), you will be asked to consider four potential forest management scenarios and help determine a preferred option. These scenarios were developed by the UBC Partnership Group (UBC, 3GreenTree Consulting) that considered input on values heard during Round 1 in Fall 2021. The scenarios reflect ecological, economic, and social criteria and indicators, and represent a spectrum of timber harvesting and carbon credit revenue options.


Attend the in-person information session
This information session will be an opportunity to listen and learn. There will be two high level presentations (the same presentation) at 3:30pm and 6:00pm of the four draft forest management scenario options, with opportunities to view display boards. Complete project information, including a Q&A tool for asking questions can be found below.

  • Wednesday, November 30, 3–7pm (presentations at 3:30 and 6pm)
    Maple Bay Fire Hall, 1230 Maple Bay Road

Join an online information session (RSVP req’d)
Learn more about the four draft forest management scenario options in these online sessions that will include a presentation and small group break-out discussions. Space is limited and RSVPs are required.

Take the survey

  • An online survey is open until December 31, 2022.

  • You may also receive a phone call to participate in the representative survey being conducted by Mustel Group.

Read the Discussion Guide

  • The Round 2 Discussion Guide is an overview of the scenario options, plus relevant background information on the process.


Round 2 will include a survey, virtual information sessions, an in-person information session, plus a representative phone survey. Feedback heard during Round 2 public engagement will be presented to Council as part of a ‘what we heard’ report. The UBC Group will use the feedback to adjust the potential forest management scenarios (if necessary) and present these to Council for a decision. A detailed forest management plan will then need to be developed to support the preferred scenario.

Previous public engagement

During Round 1 (Values; Fall 2021) stakeholders and the public were invited to share their values about the MFR. Four virtual online workshops, a survey, and 19 stakeholder interviews resulted in a detailed report that outlined what people value about the MFR.

Working group and stakeholder involvement

A broad range of stakeholders, along with the public, can share their thoughts on the MFR.

An Engagement Working Group made up of North Cowichan residents from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints meet to provide important advice and input on the engagement process. A list of members as well as minutes from these meetings can be found in the Documents section of this page.

First Nation involvement

In August, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by North Cowichan and the Quw'utsun Nation, which is comprised of Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation, Penelakut Tribe, and Lyackson First Nation. The MOU outlines the establishment of a Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR) Working Group to share information in relationship to the stewardship and use of the MFR for the benefit of the community. The agreement signifies the commitment by both parties to continue meeting and discussing activities in the MFR.

Background of the review

In response to public interest in harvesting activities and requests for a review of forest management, Council dramatically limited harvesting in 2019 and initiated two initiatives: 1) undertaking public engagement, both deep and broad, on the future management of the MFR and 2) a technical review of forest management practices, options, and scenarios. The technical review will support the public engagement process by providing the information needed for informed public participation, and the public engagement process will inform the evaluation of the technical scenarios and options.

About the MFR

The Municipality of North Cowichan is one of the few communities in North America that owns and manages forest lands for the benefit of residents. North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve is different from community forests or tree farm licenses, as it is owned by the Municipality and not a licence granted by the Province.

  • The MFR is 5,000+ hectares (ha) and accounts for approximately 25% of the land base in North Cowichan.

  • The MFR consists of six major land holdings: Mount Prevost, Mount Sicker, Mount Tzouhalem, Stoney Hill, Mount Richards, and Maple Mountain, plus a number of smaller parcels including Grace Road, Panorama Ridge, and near Cottonwood Road behind the Fuller Lake arena.

  • Since 1946, the MFR has been owned and managed as a working forest. The current annual harvesting allowance is 20,000 cubic meters.

  • Forest management on Maple Mountain is informed by the Municipality’s Framework for Integrated Forest Resource Management for Maple Mountain (1992) that seeks to balance harvesting, recreation, and conservation for that area.

  • One of the ways that the Municipality seeks to ensure sustainability of the MFR is by replanting harvested areas at the earliest possible time with the best seedling stock available. Species that naturally occur in this area are replanted, namely Douglas-fir, western red cedar, and western white pine.

For more information

More information on the Municipal Forest Reserve and related programs such as community contributions, forestry reports, fire protection can be found at North Cowichan Forestry.

Questions and answers

Have a question about the Municipal Forest Reserve Review? Ask it here. Questions will be answered within three to four business days. 

You need to be signed in to add your question.

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    I am familiarizing myself with the background, options, reviewing the Q&As, there is a lot of materials to cover. I'm trying to determine what process will be used to choose one of the four options. Would you be able to point me to the document that outlines that process please. Thank you.

    dalemkelly asked 6 days ago

    Hello, The Discussion Guide is an excellent way to learn more about the process, the scenarios, and some of the technical details. You can download the document off this webpage.

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    How does the Municipality plan to interpret the results of Round 2 of the public consultation? Citizens are being presented with four scenarios. Does the scenario with the most votes win...or, for example, if the two conservation scenarios prevail over the two logging scenarios will there then be a blended conservation scenario?

    Larry asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for your question. Feedback heard through the open link (online) survey and the representative survey (phone survey) will be incorporated into a 'what we heard' report and shared with Council, and with the UBC Group in early January 2023.  A final report outlining the final scenarios will be presented by UBC Group to the Forestry Advisory Committee, then Council for a decision regarding a final scenario. At this point, Council could direct staff to prepare a forest management plan to support the final scenario.

    Government-to-government discussions with the Quw’utusn Nation are a separate, though concurrent, process, and any outcomes from those discussions will also be presented to Council for their information, direction, and decision.


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    Will the community have an opportunity to identify the levels of visual quality they want for the six mountains as part of the community engagement process? Will you be explaining to the community what the different visual quality objectives identified in the scenarios mean in a visual and understandable way.

    ConnectAdmin asked 23 days ago

    Seeking community feedback on specific levels of visual quality for various areas throughout the MFR is not part of Round 2 forestry public engagement. An updated Visual Landscape Inventory analysis and report was completed in 2019 and can be found here: https://www.northcowichan.ca/EN/main/departments/parks-recreation/forestry/forestry-reports.html

    This was completed by an industry expert who determined the recommended visual quality classes for the visible area which then be used to set visual quality objectives.  This work was done based on the Provincial standards that govern visual impacts on Crown forest land and was used by the UBC Group as part of their analysis work. More information about Visual Resource Management can be found here: https://alpha.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/visual-resource-management 

    The UBC Group presentation does speak to some background with regards to the Visual Quality Objectives. 

    Further education about the Visual Landscape Inventory could be considered as part of the forest management plan development, which will take place once a preferred management scenario is determined. 

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    Hello Shaun, Given most of the logging has been done on the back side of the mountains and may have to move to the front-sides, will there be any hydrology studies regards the risk of increased flooding, comparing each scenario? Will those extra costs be included ad an estimate under each scenario? Thank you

    katemarsh asked 17 days ago

    Thank you for your question. Landscape level watershed disturbance was considered as part of the UBC Group analysis and is included as part of their evaluations for the four draft forest management scenarios. The operational activities such as hydrological assessments and the associated budgets required to conduct these activities will need to further reviewed as part of the forest management plan that would be developed once a preferred scenario is determined.

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    Hello ; I would like to ask if any consideration is given to the thought of fire breaks to seperate populated areas from potential forest fires. Kelowna and others areas come to mind when I ask this question. I think this is overlooked in many communities.

    Rick Thompson asked 9 days ago

    Hello, and thank you for the question. North Cowichan's Community Wildfire Protection Plan was updated in 2020. It identifies three high risk areas within the Municipality of North Cowichan. Fuel management prescriptions have been completed for these areas and although fuel breaks would have been considered a part of the overall analysis work, there were none recommended. For more information about North Cowichan wildfire mitigation work, please visit www.northcowichan.ca/wildfire 

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    Hello, we plan to attend the info session(s) on Nov 30. Will there be a Q&A segment to these sessions?

    dalemkelly asked 9 days ago

    Thank you for your question. The in-person session on November 30 will feature presentations at 3:30 and 6, and an opportunity to review display boards, provide comments on the boards, and ask questions of consultants and staff in attendance. The online sessions will include a presentation at the beginning followed by smaller group discussions on the scenarios.

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    If there is only going to be ‘virtual engagement’ what are the particulars so that those that wish to attend, can? Thank you.

    katemarsh asked 17 days ago

    Thank you for your question, Kate. There is one in-person and two virtual information sessions scheduled as part of Round 2. The virtual sessions require an RSVP as space will be limited, and also by registering you will receive the log-in details. 

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    According to the supporting revenue spreadsheets - Total projected revenue from carbon and logging over 30 years are as follows: Status Quo: $31,393,000. Reduced Harvest: $29,992,478. Active Conservation: $34,355,987. Passive Conservation: $38,850,000. Why did Status Quo and Reduced Harvest get a higher economic score than the Conservation scenarios?

    ConnectAdmin asked 23 days ago

    The harvesting scenarios were ranked slightly higher from an economic perspective because the revenue within the first 10 years is higher in those scenarios relative to the carbon revenue which takes longer to develop. Standard discount factors will show that income in the near future is generally preferable to future income. The difference in economic scores between scenarios was found to be relatively small and the economic scores reflect this.

    It is important to point out that this is a modeling forecast of a potential revenue based on assumptions about the future pricing and is only meant to show the potential revenue given these assumptions as it is impossible to accuracy predict pricing over this time period.

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    How much would the forest grow under the Conservation scenarios? From the supporting revenue spreadsheets - it looks like the forest would almost double in volume over the 30 year Carbon Credit contract period. The number of carbon offsets grows from around 11,000 to around 22,000 over the 30 years. Thus, if you view the forest as a financial asset - it will almost double under the Conservation scenarios while the growth is much less for the reduced harvest and pretty much a flat line for the Status Quo. Why did Status Quo and Reduced Harvesting get a higher economic score given the additional economic asset appreciation under the conservation scenarios?

    ConnectAdmin asked 23 days ago

    The harvesting scenarios were ranked slightly higher from an economic perspective because the revenue within the first 10 years is higher in those scenarios relative to the carbon revenue which takes longer to develop. Standard discount factors will show that income in the near future is generally preferable to future income. The difference in economic scores between scenarios was found to be relatively small and the economic scores reflect this.

    It is important to point out that this is a modeling forecast of a potential revenue based on assumptions about the future pricing and is only meant to show the potential revenue given these assumptions as it is impossible to accuracy predict pricing over this time period.

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    From the updated inventory – What is the size of the Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB) used in the scenario modelling and how does this differ from the one used in earlier Timber Supply Analyses that determined the AAC for the MFR?

    ConnectAdmin asked 23 days ago

    The THLB calculated from the UBC Group analysis is 4,720ha. The last Timber Supply Analysis was completed in August 1995 with a calculated THLB of 4,362ha.  

    The area difference between the 1995 analysis and the UBC Group’s is due to changes to the land base, advancement in calculation methods and changes in technology that has improved forestry data accuracy.

Page last updated: 28 Nov 2022, 04:08 PM