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NDP environment critic awed by Koksilah trees
Ancient trees in the Koksilah River could be a step closer to preservation after a recent visit by the NDP's environment critic and Cowichan's MLA.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, and Warm Land member Bill Routley toured the stand recently with Warrick Whitehead, a valley citizen with a long history of trying to get Koksilah's old growth stand saved.
Chandra Herbert was impressed — especially with the potential tourist values the towering cedars, firs and hemlocks would offer the valley if taxpayers — the provincial or Cowichan regional board — bought the acreage from TimberWest.
"In my meeting with Warrick Whitehead, I learned there will be a meeting in early October about that land," the Vancouver-West End told the News Leader Pictorial.
"It's early days to predict who will do what," he said of the ancient forest many Cowichanians have wanted set aside as parkland for years.
That parkland could spell tourist bucks from folks such as the Ontarians the trio met while on their tour, Chandra Herbert signaled.
He citing income from recent protection of the West Coast's ancient Avatar Grove.
"Avatar Grove's protected and Port Renfrew's chamber is using it as a tourist draw.
"Any areas, like the Cowichan Valley, we could also say 'We have our own big-tree park',and that could be very significant for the tourism part, especially because people are often travelling now to see nature."
Chandra Herbert has the environmental resume to brainstorm about Koksilah's trees.
Before becoming an MLA, he was elected to the Vancouver Parks Board.
He served as a parks commissioner between 2005 and 2008, and was then a member of the Coalition of Progressive Electors.