These are our seven proposed solutions to protect the Coastal Douglas fir forest in our area:
1. The voluntary use of conservation and ecoforestry covenants
protecting the forest for future generations while allowing logging using the ecosystem-based single-tree selection method practiced at Wildwood by the Ecoforestry Institute Society, enabling the forest to recover its old growth character over the next 100 years.
2. The use of a property tax incentive
to reward landowners who are already practising sustainable forest management, or who have placed a conservation covenant on their land.
3. The development of a regional conservation fund,
financed by a small increase in taxes to fund conservation projects on private lands, and to purchase private properties for conservation purposes. The CVRD has such a fund; the RDN does not.
4. A requirement for clustered or carefully-place home-site development
on lots of ten acres or more. Thus, a landowner who owns twenty acres, allowing four 5-acre lots, could develop four homes on four small lots, the rest of the forest being shared by the owners and protected by an ecoforestry covenant.
5. The use of a density transfer
allowing a landowner whose zoning allows for subdivision into two or more lots to sell the development potential to a landowner in an area where density transfer units can be received for an approved development. For example, if you own 20 acres zoned to allow four 5-acre lots, you could sell some or all of the density units, the remaining forest being protected by an ecoforestry covenant. This is currently allowed in the RDN, with density transfers to RDN Area H.
6. Amending the provincial development permit area (DPA) rules:
- classifying all Coastal Douglas fir forest as an endangered ecosystem, enabling environmentally sensitive DPAs to be established by local governments;
- requiring a permit for any subdivision, not just for four lots or more; and
- strengthening the rules to require the clustering or careful placement of development, with the remaining forest being protected by an ecoforestry covenant.
7. The creation by the provincial government of a Coastal Douglas Fir Land Reserve
- in which logging would be allowed provided it followed ecoforestry principles,
- landowners’ development rights would remain, but be adjusted to require that any proposed development is clustered or carefully placed, and
- requiring that the remaining forest be protected by an ecoforestry covenant.