TimberWest is harvesting approximately 70 hectares of second generation forest in the Englishman River area. The harvesting started mid-May and is expected to be completed by mid-June.
We understand that there have been some concerns raised and we want to assure you that we are sensitive to our role in protecting riverside ecosystems and habitat. In addition to meeting all applicable Federal and Provincial regulations, we have taken further precautions including retaining a riverside Reserve Area of at least 15 meters together with an additional buffer zone of up to 25 meters along the river. In total, the unharvested buffer width ranges from 15 to 40 meters.
Our forest harvesting plans are designed by qualified forest professionals supported by Registered Professional Biologists and external geo-scientists. The operations are reviewed by third-party environmental monitors. This environmental monitoring will continue throughout the process up to and including regeneration. All of this to ensure that we are deploying best-practices in maintaining the integrity of the watershed ecosystem.
Part of our planning includes engaging with neighbours immediately adjacent to our harvesting area to inform them about our harvesting plans and to listen to any concerns. In addition to this, we meet with local governments regularly to keep them informed of our plans, and we always answer any questions or concerns that community members might have who live outside of our initial notification area. We incorporate this feedback into all of our harvesting plans.
TimberWest has a long history in the Englishman River area. In 2003, TimberWest committed to a covenant with the Nature Trust to preserve a 10 hectare parcel of land valued at over $2 million. The harvesting that is currently taking place is more than 1 km away from the land under covenant. We specifically set that parcel of land aside and in the care of the Nature Trust because we understand the importance of this area to members of the community, and to people across Vancouver Island. We also conveyed an additional parcel of land in the Englishman River area which is now the Englishman River Regional Park.
The area currently being harvested will be re-planted in the spring of 2017 and will become a third growth forest. We are proud of the one thousand professional women and men that contribute every day to TimberWest. After a century of operations, we look forward to continued and improved stewardship of our renewable resource for generations to come.
President & CEO