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THE YELLOW POINT COMMUNITY FOREST SOCIETY AIMS TO PROTECT 60 ACRE LOCAL FOREST News Release

For immediate release

Yellow Point – The Yellow Point Community Forest Society (YPCFS) recently formed to protect an ecologically important undeveloped 60 acre forest from logging. The property is located in the centre of Yellow Point and can be accessed from the end of Long Lake Road on the south and Whiting Way on the north. The 60 acre forest is a vital component in the creation of an environmental corridor linking Hemer Park, Wildwood Eco-Forest, Yellow Point Bog Ecological Reserve, and Yellow Point Park through to the ocean. It is home to a sensitive and complex ecosystem of waterways, wetlands, rare plants, and amphibians; its loss would severely compromise the fragile Yellow Point aquifer and thus water accessibility for many residents. According to respected ecologist, Herb Hammond, the landscape of this property is “extremely ecologically sensitive to disturbance”. The property has recently been acquired by a numbered company controlled by Coastland Wood Industries (Coastland), a producer of veneer and round wood products. Coastland has estimated that logging the property will provide their mill with one to two days’ worth of fibre. Herb Hammond has emphasized that “logging in this area could easily create erosion and sources of siltation that would damage downstream water features, including wetlands.” The YPCFS has thoroughly researched the 60 acres and has become conversant with all applicable regulations and bylaws, particularly the Riparian Area Regulations, the Area A Official Community Plan and the RDN Development Permit process. It will be closely monitoring all activities on the property. Ted Gullison, of the Save Lantzville Forest group, has a PhD in ecology and works with industrial sectors to achieve biodiversity conservation, recently stated "… as a society we're realizing that intact forests that are close to a lot of people have a higher value than turning them into 2x4's." This 60 acre forest in the heart of Yellow Point is an endangered Coastal Douglas-fir/Dull Oregon Grape forest ecosystem and forms a key component of the residential Yellow Point aquifer. Logging the property will have consequences that extend far beyond the property lines. There is one other very important element to this story. In a unique bid to save the 60 acre forest a member of the Yellow Point community has made a formal offer to pay the Coastland numbered company more than their purchase price meaning that the Coastland numbered company does have the opportunity to preserve the land without incurring a financial loss. Unfortunately the company has allowed the purchase offer to expire and is citing the need for more time to explore their other options. The Coastland numbered company has promised to keep the Yellow Point Community Forest Society informed of their plans and has assured the group that they are willing to answer all questions. The YPCFS is hopeful that a mutually agreeable solution can be found although there is a mounting level of frustration and concern in the community. A spokesman for the Coastland numbered company has told the YPCFS that it will communicate their final decision in a matter of weeks.

Media Contacts: Jain Alcock-White

FaceBook: To be placed on the The Yellow Point Community Forestry Society Facebook site, please send an email to Jain Alcock-White at janealcockwhite@gmail.com

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