Neighbours near Qualicum Beach call on Mosaic to not log parcel of land

Neighbours near Qualicum Beach call on Mosaic to not log parcel of land

There’s a piece of second growth forest near Qualicum Beach, bounded by Slaney Road and Hilliers Road, that neighbours and students at a nearby independent school have grown to love and are asking Mosaic Forest Management not to log.

“Because we’ve become so attached to the land, I would like more opportunity to negotiate with them and discuss that connection with them,” said Leslie Love, an area resident.

A nearby school uses the property almost daily.

“This forest behind me right now is a pit stop everyday, whether we’re going through it or by it, so it also is incorporated in our outdoor learning components. We do shelter building and orienteering,” said Colleen Murray, executive director of the Arrowsmith Independent School.

Workers have recently flagged the buffer that would be preserved around the edges as Mosaic Forest Management prepares to log the land, likely this coming fall, though no dates have been set.

The community though is rallying to try and save it. A community petition at the forest is being signed by many, and locals are calling for the company to hold off.

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“Mosaic is owned by large public service pension funds and people who are investing in those companies have no connection to the land that’s here, and if they knew what was happening all over Vancouver Island they would be very upset,” said Love.

An MLA in the region says after talking to the students and staff at the school, he believes at least some of the forest should be preserved.

“We’ve already reached out to Mosaic and we’re hoping we can find some compromise here. They’ve got a set back from the road. They have a set back from the corner, but if you look around I mean, this is a pretty cool place,” said Adam Walker, the Parksville-Qualicum MLA.

In a statement, Mosaic Forest Management says it’s taken “… into consideration safety, recreation, water quality, wildlife, fish, visual quality, and other values. The harvest area is second growth, and internal retention, external retention, and individual leave tree retention are planned. Our sustainable forestry management always meets and generally exceeds all legislated requirements…”

Still, Murray says that’s not good enough.

“Pick another forest, maybe not one that’s being used by the community or by the schools on a daily basis,” she said.

The company also says it may be willing to discuss potential sales of its private lands for fair market value but only with governments or conservation organizations.

Earlier this year, Quadra Island residents expressed dismay at logging by Mosaic Forest Management.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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