A group of people in raingear walking through thick forest

Mosaic informs SRD of its intentions for Cortes and Quadra Islands

Mosaic informed the SRD Board of its intentions to log Cortes and Quadra Islands in a presentation at the August 17 SRD Board meeting.  

“Earlier this year, we were really happy to announce that Way Kay Ventures, a newly formed company owned in part by the We Wai Kai First Nation is providing us with our timber harvesting services on Quadra island. So great to see that nation, working with us on our crown tenures, to participate in the forest sector in their traditional territory,” explained Molly Hudson, Mosaic’s Director of Sustainability. “We’ve been talking a lot with the community on Cortes about upcoming harvest plans, which we intend to launch this fall.”

Regional Director Brenda Leigh and Mayor Andy Adams look on during Mosaic’s presentation – screenshot from the YouTube video

Hudson outlined some of the ways Mosaic has been providing Cortes Island with benefits: 

She also described some of the ways Mosaic is of value to Campbell River and the Strathcona Regional District:

  • They spend $80 million a year on local purchases   
  • Mosaic pays about $13 million a year in property taxes to the various municipal and regional districts where it operates.
  • They have given funds to local organizations like Greenway’s Land Trust  and the Campbell River Salmon Foundation.
  • North Island College, in Campbell River, is one of the institutions to benefit from the $125,000 Mosaic provided First Nation scholarships and training programs.

“All of the wood that we produce is offered first to local millers before it can be sold overseas. That surplus check ensures that local mills are offered our wood first,“ said Hudson.

“We were really proud last year to be recognized as one of BC’s top employers and one of the things that was recognized by BC’s top employer association is that we’ve embedded a comprehensive diversity and equity and inclusion strategy into our business now.  So really supporting a diverse range of folks in our industry and encouraging others to join us in the forest sector on the community front.” 

Mosaic partnered with the Pacific Salmon Foundation and has committed to be net zero by 2035. 

Slide from Mosaic’s Aug 17 presentation to the SRD Board

Hudson reminded the SRD Board that Mosaic has deferred harvesting 40,000 hectares of its private timber lands for 25 years.

“80% of those lands are mature in old forests,” she said. “This is a voluntary market initiative so any other company globally who has net zero commitments could be reaching out to us to buy these carbon credits to support their own path to net zero.”  

Some of the Directors had questions. 

Forestry is one of Campbell River’s three economic pillars and Director Charlie Cornfield that setting aside 40,000 hectares might mean a reduction of the labour force.

“If you reduce that, then you reduce the harvesting. That’s the employment of loggers road, builders, contractors, and everything else. So the company might make more, but what about the impact to the communities?” 

Hudson replied that Mosaic’s holdings were so vast that she did not foresee any negative economic impacts the labor force or to the communities  who support that labor force.’

Regional Director Brenda Leigh, from Area D, had other concerns. 80% of the land base in her electoral area was privately managed forest lands. 

”It seems to me that the enforcement of that through the private managed forest council is quite loose. It’s important for the environment, and for the community’s long term, to know that they’re going to have forests in the future. I’d like to know how long is it after you log a section of forestry, that you, your company and the companies that you oversee, replant them.” 

Hudson replied, “We reforest essentially a hundred percent of our harvest areas and our average at last check a couple of months ago was within nine months of harvest completion. So that’s a very good turnover rate, a better turnover than you would see  on many crown licenses.” 

Top photo credit: Some of the participants of a Mosaic walkthrough of proposed cutblocks in April 2022 – Photo by Roy L Hales

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