The provincial government signed a community forest agreement with the Village of Clinton on May 1.
The new community forest covers 62,000 hectares and will have an allowable annual cut of up to 20,000 cubic metres.
The community forest is in the 100 Mile House Timber Supply Area and the agreement has an initial term of 25 years.
A community forest is a forestry operation managed by a local government, community group or First Nation for the benefit of the entire community. Community forest agreements are long-term, area-based tenures designed to encourage community involvement in, and management of, local forests.
Community forests are great way to make more timber available, while diversifying British Columbia’s forest sector and create local employment opportunities, says Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister of Steve Thomson.
“Getting a community forest is really important to the area. Harvesting from a community forest can support locally determined objectives and interests, such as infrastructure upgrades, volunteer group projects and grants to community groups,” says Clinton Mayor Jim Rivett.
Community forests provide local jobs and give rural communities a stronger, more diverse economic base, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett notes.
She adds this new community forest agreement means sustainable employment for people in Clinton and creates long-term opportunities for collaboration between the Village of Clinton and local First Nations.
“We congratulate Clinton on its Community Forest Agreement award,” says Community Forest Association president Don Brown.
“Clinton has been a member of the BC Community Forest Association since it first received the invitation to apply, and we look forward to working with [the village] as it implements its plans to maximize the social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits that these tenures provide.”
• “Our Natural Advantage: A Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia” identifies community forests as a key element in supporting prosperous rural forest economies.
• Since 2004, the provincial government has signed 50 community forest agreements with a total allowable annual cut of 1.3 million cubic metres of timber a year.