How Community Forests are Changing the Way BC’s Forests are Managed

2019 BCCFA Conference Field Trip.jpeg

Presentations from the 2019 BCCFA Conference

Session 1 – How Community Forests are Changing the Way BC’s Forests are Managed – The Year in Review
Jennifer Gunter, BCCFA Executive Director
Link to the presentation

Many in the forestry sector today understand that we need to do things differently. As we look to find ways to advance reconciliation with Indigenous people, to become more responsive to a changing climate, and to create healthy and resilient forests and communities, community forests offer a tangible solution. The BCCFA advocates for more and larger community forests and for forest policy that enhances the ability of CFA holders to create benefits for their communities and to the province. In this presentation, Jennifer provided an overview of the BCCFA’s work over the past year and highlighted the findings of a new socio-economic impact study of BC’s community forest program as well as the results of the latest Community Forest Indicators Survey documenting the benefits generated by BCCFA members.

Session 3 – First Nations Reconciliation Panel
Moderator:  Doug Stewart, Director Tenures Branch, MFLNRORD

What does reconciliation mean to you? What role do community forest managers and boards have in reconciliation? The importance of reconciliation and building relationships with Indigenous People is highlighted by the federal and provincial commitments to implement the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the principle of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). In addition, the context for forestry in BC has changed significantly in relation to Indigenous peoples in the past 10 years. The provincial government has provided volumes/tenure to First Nations as accommodation, economic development, and land management control. Where community forests are working with Indigenous governments, effective relationship approaches and partnerships are key to successful forest management.

Andrea Lyall, RPF, Doctoral Candidate, UBC Faculty of Forestry
Link to the presentation

Andrea spoke about her understanding of the meaning of reconciliation, with examples of reconcilACTION (the implementation of reconciliation) for community forests.

Garry Merkel, RPF, co-chair, Minister’s Forest and Range Practices Advisory Council and co-chair of the First Nations Council of Advisors
Link to the presentation

Garry helped us understand reconciliation and how to personalize it in our lives, particularly as it relates to the collaborative management of our forests with First Nations.

Hugh Flinton, RPF, Manager Williams Lake Community Forest and Tom Alphonse T’exelcemc (Williams Lake Band)
Link to the presentation

The Williams Lake Community Forest is a partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake. Hugh and Tom will speak to the benefits and opportunities for building relationships inherent in a community forest tenure, based on their shared experience in the Williams Lake Community Forest.

Session 2 – The 4 Pillars of Disaster Management: Community Forest Leadership & Innovation
Moderator: Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC)

Resiliency and Adaptation in the Context of Changing Fire Behavior and Effects
Bob Gray, Association for Fire Ecology, Certified Wildland Fire Ecologist, R.W. Gray Consulting Ltd.
Link to the presentation

Climate change is predicted to lead to longer fire seasons, increased burned area and greater fire severity. This may in turn lead to a significant increase in the economic, social and environmental burden of wildfires. Under rapidly changing climatic and wildfire conditions is it possible to promote resilience, is the concept of resilience even relevant, and what would resilience and adaptation look like. In this presentation, Bob presented the latest science on climate change and wildfire and then presented some thoughts on resilience and adaptation.

Managing for Multiple Values
Garnet Mireau, RPF, Forsite and Logan Lake Community Forest Management Team
Link to the presentation

Forest professionals that support the management of community forests are required to juggle ever more environmental, economic and social objectives. This stewardship trinity can be challenging to everyone involved. How do we sustain and protect our community’s best interests?  Is there room for every value and/or every voice?  The Logan Lake Community Forest shared their experience and understanding of wildfire prevention and mitigation since 2004; all the while leveraging their knowledge of resilient forests, legal/ non-legal requirements and markets. We are challenged to think differently. There is an “I” in “Team” and Garnet showed us where we can find it in our communities too.

Good for the Hood – FireSmart for Private Land
Jessica Duncan, FIT, Prevention Specialist, BC Wildfire Service, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Link to the presentation

Jessica spoke about the shared responsibility of FireSmart and the seven disciplines that make the program successful. She brought case study examples and promoted the importance of engaging the community to be active in FireSmart efforts.

Voice of Experience – Steps to Building Your Own Crew
Cedar Elliot and Margaret Symon, Khowutzun Forest Services
Link to the presentation

Cedar and Margaret gave an overview of Khowutzun Forest Services and  their contract firefighting crews, describing fire prevention in their Community Forest and fire related activities province‐wide.

Restoration, Reclamation, Reforestation with Native Species
Ron Jacobson, Business Development Manager, NATS Nursery Ltd.
Link to the presentation

Ron shared his deep knowledge of the value of native species and their role in fire and ecosystem recovery efforts.