After more than a year of meetings and discussions with the provincial government, the Village of Clinton has been invited to apply for a community forest.
The Clinton Community Forest Committee will be hosting a public forum July 12 at 7 pm at the Clinton Memorial Hall to explain to residents the benefits of a community forest and to obtain input from the public and other affected stakeholders and explain to the members of the community the social and economic benefits of a Community Forest Agreement.
Harvesting revenue from a community forest provides a source of revenue that can support locally determined objectives and interests such as infrastructure upgrades, trail building, and grants to groups.
The committee, comprised of Daniela Dyck, Village of Clinton Administrator Heidi Frank, Woodlot Manager Robin Fennell, Councillor Wayne Marchant and Registered Professional Forester Steve Law has been working for some time on the proposal.
The proposed Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) for the Community Forest Licence is 20,000m3 per year, the Clinton Creek Watershed is within the proposed boundary of the Community Forest Area which will also factor in protection and harvesting of the Clinton Creek watershed.
If the license is awarded, a corporation will be formed and run by a board made up of local volunteers.
Some of the benefits of community forestry include:
Long-term community economic development resulting in the increased self-reliance of rural communities;
Local-level decision making that leads to locally appropriate decisions and improves the incentives to consider the long-term benefits of sustainable management;
Increased potential to resolve conflicts over timber harvesting in watersheds and other sensitive areas;
Protection of drinking watersheds, viewscapes, and other values that are important to communities and to local and regional economic activity; and
Improved awareness of forest management among members of the public.
A community forest can be described as any forestry operation managed by a local government or community group for the benefit of the entire community. There are currently 39 active community forests in British Columbia.