The District of North Cowichan has managed a 5,000-hectare forest reserve since 1946 – providing residents with economic, environmental, educational and recreational benefits. The North Cowichan Municipal Forest makes up 25% of the district’s land base, and is managed at no cost to taxpayers – including protection from wildfires and invasive species. A variety of coastal species are harvested and sold to local mills.
The forest is managed to address community interests, with emphasis on reforestation and scenic values. A Forest Legacy Fund supports special projects, including scholarships and bursaries and a contest challenging local students to build with wood. The many trails in the municipal forest include Mount Tzouhalem, which is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.