KUS-KUS-SUM RESTORATION ON THE COURTENAY RIVER: “Turning the tides to de-industrialize the estuary in the heart of our community” – an article by Tim Ennis, Executive Director of the Comox Valley Land Trust

Note to Reader:

In March 2017, the stewardship sector hosted a transformational event, the Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium. Sponsored by the four local governments, the theme for this ‘watershed moment’ was Discovering Nature’s Infrastructure Potential.

The excitement and energy generated by the Symposium has helped to move forward the long-term vision for transforming a decommissioned sawmill site on the Courtenay River into a valuable habitat corridor that could also transform the city’s most troublesome flood liabilities into an eco-asset corridor for the whole community.

The salmon-bearing Courtenay River flows through the City of Courtenay into the K’omoks Estuary, Baynes Sound and the Salish Sea. Project Watershed’s inventory of more than 40 potential projects for the K’omoks Estuary identified the 3.5 hectare sawmill site as a key area of damage and top restoration priority. It is situated adjacent to the protected Hollyhock Marsh.

What the sawmill site would look like after transformation into Kus-kus-mus (image credit: Robert Lundquist)


Nothing Happens Unless a Dream Happens First

“I just want to wake up one day, open the company’s books, and not see the Field Sawmill property there,” John Horning tells me. Horning is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Interfor, an international logging company with nearly 20 sawmills and extensive forest tenures spanning between northwestern British Columbia and South Carolina. Although still owned by Interfor, the Field Sawmill, in the heart of the K’ómoks estuary, is no longer operational. Arguably the biggest eyesore in the community, it has been dismantled, cleaned up, and on the market for nearly 10 years. Horning and I share a common dream,” wrote Tim Ennis in the opening paragraph of his article that was published in the CV Collective.

To Learn More:

To read the complete article, download a PDF copy of Field of Dreams.

Acknowledgment: Photo Gallery by Dan Bowen