The new board of directors has the necessary skills, experience and insights to provide leadership to the BCCFA as we head into our third decade. We are grateful for their service to the BCCFA network.
President - George Brcko (Wells Gray Community Forest)
Vice-President - Randy Spyksma (Logan Lake Community Forest)
Treasurer- Ken Nielsen (Chinook Community Forest)
Secretary - Tania Solonas (McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest)
Members at large
Dan Macmaster (West Boundary Community Forest)
Daniel Gratton (Creston Community Forest)
Colin Macleod (Wetzin’kwa Community Forest)
Frances Swan (Nakusp & Area Community Forest)
Klay Tindall (Spel̓kúmtn Community Forest)
Warren Hansen (Sechelt Community Forest)
Check out the sessions summary for photos and condensed reporting. The detailed notes have more information on the sessions.
We are delighted to announce the release of this video celebrating 20 years of the BCCFA. BCCFA members contributed brief testimonials of the ways their community forests and the network have made a difference both personally and in their communities. The video was created by Natasha Silva, our fabulous UBC Intern.
Local media reports on the 2022 Nakusp Conference
Two reporters from the Valley Voice, a free local print paper, attended the conference in Nakusp. They reported extensively on our event in their November 3 edition, pages 2 and 3. read more
The recently released report is a comprehensive summary that quantifies the benefits of community forestry in our province. Over the past 20 years, community forestry in BC has been championed by the BCCFA and its dedicated members, creating a network of leaders with a vision for forestry that pushes community values to the forefront. The 2022 report is based on survey information collected from 33 community forests across the province, spanning 18 indicators that are used each year to account for the wide range of values and impacts of community forests. The data and stories gathered in this year’s report provide tangible evidence of the success and significance of community forestry in BC.
BCCFA member communities news
FESBC Community Forests Partnership
The Nakusp BCCFA conference provided an opportunity to acknowledge the partnership between 25 community forests and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) over the past few years to reduce wildfire risk. This partnership has accounted for 53 projects valued at over $18 million of which $12.3 million was for wildfire risk reduction and $5.9 million for projects to reduce greenhouse gases, which have included enhanced fibre utilization and rehabilitating damaged forest stands. Read more about a number of these projects. Check out the latest FESBC newsletter
FESBC funding supports five new wildfire mitigation projects on the West Boundary Community Forest read more
Photo top: Jewel Lake project post treatment; bottom left: Dan Macmaster and Peter Flett at Jewel Lake pre treatment; Photo Bottom Right: LP Martin and Nick Kleiner at Jewel Lake pre treatment; Photo credits: FESBC
The LNTCFS newsletter is a fantastic example of community engagement
and information sharing read more
The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society, supported by the Nakusp and Area Community Forest has been stewarding the Central Selkirk Caribou Maternity Pen project for the last year. This project aims to increase the population of southern mountain caribou by giving pregnant female caribou a place to raise their calves until they are strong and can escape predation.
One Year Later:
Logan Lake Community Forest Continues
to Reduce Wildfire Risk
Beyond wildfire risk reduction, the projects undertaken by LLCF have been a great example of community engagement and collaborative work. A FESBC funded project is adding a level of enhanced protection for the surrounding communities. Photos of the pre and post treatments in the Face-Paska area. Photos by Adam Sullivan read the news releaseand you will want to check out CFJC TV's coverage of this work.
Historic agreement reached between Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) and Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF)
After years of ELF protests against SCCF plans and forest management that included blockades, road injunctions and Forest Practices Board complaints, a historic agreement has been reached between the two parties. SCCF manager, Warren Hansen, has only been on the job for a couple of years, but with a new approach that includes openness and a willingness to work directly with ELF, a path for collaboration has been made.
Hansen had this to say about the new agreement: “ELF and SCCF have agreed to put aside their differences and work collaboratively together on a monthly basis to discuss SCCF forest management. ELF represents a very important part of our community and our Community Forest is committed to work collaboratively with ELF to plan, deeply discuss what our future forests could look like and address our community needs now and into the future. The agreement is based on the following principles:
The temporary buffer at the north end of the block (marked “TEMP DEFERRED” in the attached map) will become permanent
Parties will work together to identify a location for the Healing Forest within Old Growth Recruitment
Parties will meet approximately monthly at mutually agreed time and place TBD
It is understood that parties will conduct themselves professionally
We thank ELF for their courage and trust that we can make the Community Forest we can all be proud of.”
And SCCF, we are so proud of your courageous leadership and humility. Congratulations.
Community Forest Summer Students Opportunity
The UBC Faculty of Forestry has confirmed funding for four undergraduate students to be placed at two community forests for the summer months in 2023. The purpose of the gift is to support employment opportunities for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Forestry, and to support community forestry. Deadline to apply is December 11th.more information
Old Growth Deferrals – Are you working in areas where deferrals are proceeding? We want to hear from you!
We would like to hear from our members about what is happening for community forests with the OD deferrals. Please contact Jennifer with your status, new developments, concerns and questions.
Commercial Thinning Operational Trials
The Ministry of Forests is initiating operational trials to learn more about opportunities for commercial thinning. Please contact Jennifer Gunter email@example.com if you would like to learn more. Work to date has been focused in the Quesnel and Prince George areas, but there are discussions about expanding the geographic scope, including the coast. The greatest opportunity, however, is thought to be on the MPB impacted landbase where we now have several Lodgepole pine stands that were too young for the beetle to affect that are reaching 35-40 years of age. Opportunities in Douglas-fir and Spruce leading stands are also being considered.
Forest Operations Maps - do your onboarding now!
The Forest Operations Map (FOM) depicting the approximate geographic location of proposed cutblocks and roads will soon be required. Once regulations have been approved, there will be a transition period. An online platform has been developed to facilitate licensee FOM submissions and community review and comment. Ken Nielsen with Chinook CF reports it is actually quite easy to use, and recommends getting going now since that will make it easier when it is required. contact Julius.Huhs@gov.bc.ca
Want to Learn about Thinning Practices in Finland?
Ken Day (RPF and former manager of the Williams Lake Community Forest and Alex Fraser Research Forest) is exploring an opportunity to learn about thinning practices. He is looking to see if there is interest amongst community forest managers to do a tour in Finland. The tour, at a cost of about $5000 per participant, would include:
a 10 day trip in late August & early September 2023
an opportunity to meet with government and industry people
field tours of active thinning operations
a forestry equipment show.
If there is sufficient interest, Ken will work with UBC to set up the tour. If you are interested, please contact Susan or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provincial Announcements and Other News
New Wildfire Salvage Opportunity Agreements (WSOAs)
The new WSOAs will enable the timely, direct award of forestry licences to First Nations for salvaging timber damaged by wildfire. The licences will be short-term (between one and three years), with timber volumes expected in the range of 2,000 to 50,000 cubic metres. read more
New Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program fund launched for forest-dependent communities
Rural communities, First Nations and not-for-profits will have access to 33 million in new funding depending on a community’s size and other criteria. The purpose of the program is to support diversification of the local economy, particularly as the province moves away from old growth logging. Funding will be approved in two rounds, with applications for the first round recently opened and the second in spring 2023. read more
The Forestry Worker Supports and Community Resiliency Council
The new council will advise the province on support for rural workers and communities affected by old growth deferrals as well as the cumulative impacts of COVID-19, wildfire, floods, and climate change. BCCFA board member Dan Macmaster has been appointed to the council.read more
New guidance on legislation supports Indigenous rights
The Declaration Act Secretariat provides best practices for working with Indigenous Peoples on the development of provincial laws and policies which advance Indigenous rights. read more
New Partners for North Island Community Forest
Established in 2011, the North Island Community Forest (NICF) was a partnership between the Village of Port Alice, the District of Port Hardy and the town of Port McNeill. The partnership has now been expanded to include the Kwakiutl First Nation and the Quatsino First Nation. Each of the five communities hold an equal 20% in the partnership. The NICF is not a member of the BCCFA, but that does not stop us from having mountains of respect for their efforts and admiring the commitment necessary to formally include the local First Nations in their existing partnership. read more
Outdoor Recreation Council of BC ORCBC's mission is to advocate for access to and promote the responsible use of BC’s outdoors for public recreation while building bridges between our diverse membership. They have some resources community forests may find useful.