Tag Archives: Forestry on Cortes

Behind Every Great Timber Fortune…?

[From the Archives: Feb 22, 2022]

“Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” — Honoré de Balzac

On the 21st of January 2022, a notice appeared in Cortes Tideline, from Mosaic (a “forest management corporation” which handles logistics for TimberWest and Island Timberlands). The gist of it was captured in one sentence: “As we have now been able to spend some time becoming familiar with our private managed forest lands on Cortes Island, we would like to share details of our draft three-year plan with those interested from communities on Cortes Island.”

Mosaic was careful to include the important word “private” in their announcement — a reminder that some 9 percent of Cortes forest land is still owned by private timber companies (not Crown land), and that (since 2003 at least) “privately managed forest lands” are a different kettle of fish.

Most coastal residents are aware, on some level, that vast tracts of BC are privately owned by timber companies, whereas other tracts of land are “Crown land” where logging takes place under licence. Few, however, are aware of how that situation — and the inconsistent policies and rules governing the two different land types — came about.

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2014: Whaletown Commons Became a Park

(From the Archives: Nov 4, 2014)

There was a celebration on Cortes Island a little more than a week ago. Close to a hundred people came out in the rain to munch on some of the goodies and listen to some of the community’s elders. After more than a quarter of a century, Whaletown Commons became a park.

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Birth of Whaletown as a community abt. 1885-1914

Whaletown may get its name from an old whaling station, but Europeans really did not settle in the area for another 15 years or so. In today’s program Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum, traces the modern community back to a logger named Moses Ireland.

First Nations people were using Whaletown Bay before that and a fish trap is believed to have once stretched across the entrance of the lagoon.

The whalers came for 18 months, in 1869 and 70.

“It wasn’t very many years after the whaling station left, in the mid 1880s,  that Moses Ireland moved into the area as a logger and set up camp where the whale station had been,” explained Jordan.

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Cutting Old Growth: Quadra Woodlot holder responds

On August 17, Cortes Currents published a review of David Broadland’s report ‘Land-use planning on Quadra Island has been undone by the Ministry of Forests.’

Broadland wrote that while all of the other Quadra Island woodlots leave big trees standing, Okisollo Resources fells a substantial number. In ‘before’ and ‘after’ satellite images from one of their cutblocks at Hummingbird Lake, he showed that 35 out of about 50 were logged in July and August of 2019. 

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Controversy over a Quadra Island Woodlot

David Broadland recently wrote a devastating critique of the old growth logging at Hummingbird Lake on Quadra Island. It is sometimes necessary to cut down an old growth tree, so I asked the Cortes Community Forest how often this occurs in their operation.

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