Community Forests: Big Impact on the Future of Small Communities

Community Forests: Big Impact on the Future of Small Communities

“Understanding that healthy forest ecosystems are the basis of healthy local economies, community forests continue to make significant investments in the ecological integrity of the forests they manage. In cases where the community forest has made forest stewardship a high priority, it means higher costs have been incurred for forest management. The West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF),

WBCF at the 2019 Rock Creek Fair

The WBCF educational booth was nearly as busy as the lineups for the midway rides at the Rock Creek Fall Fall! Thanks to everyone who came by to chat, ask questions, and share your ideas.

It was great to see so many of you sporting our lime green WBCF tote bags, and stickers! Thank you, Ross Elliott, for lending us your antique forestry equipment.

Special thanks to Dan Macmaster, Community Forest Manager and Board members, Heinz Kreuzer, John Bolt, and Ross Elliott for staffing our booth over the two day event.

PRIZE WINNER: Aaron Nedjelski of Castlegar, BC is the winner of the oil painting by Midway artist, Leonard Schmidt.

WBCF at the 2019 BCCFA Conference and AGM in Mission, BC - Jun 12-14

June 12-14: Dan Macmaster, Community Forest Manager, and Heinz Kreuzer, WBCF Director, are attending the BC Community Forest Conference and AGM in Mission BC. They’re sharing ideas and experiences with other forest managers about the projects and successes we are having in the West Boundary.

The event includes a Field trip to the Mission Municipal Forest featuring their efforts to operate a working forest, and to collaborate with First Nation interests and the multiple recreational users and overlapping tenures on the land base. Sessions also include First Nations partnerships, ecosystem resiliency, adapting to a changing climate, community wildfire protection, community investment cooperatives, news on key government initiatives and informal dialogue sessions for managers and community forest boards. 

There will also be a special session on Reconciliation through Education and Understanding where we will host The KAIROS Blanket Exercise™ . The Blanket Exercise is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

Community Forests: Exceptional Work in Local Forests by Local People Making Local Decisions

June 7, 2019 BCCFA Newsletter: West Boundary Community Forest recognized for its collaboration with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC)  to mitigate wildlife risk, enhance wildlife habitat, forest recreation, increase the utilization of fibre, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through various treatments. These projects provide a triple win for British Columbians: increased social, economic and environmental benefits. Click to read the full article.

“Wildfire risk reduction to protect people, homes, businesses, communications, water, power, and emergency escape routes is a priority for FESBC and community forests. We’ve been able to collaborate with many community forests throughout the province and have worked in unison with the BCCFA,” said FESBC Executive Director Steve Kozuki. 

Ecosystem Restoration Burn in Gibbs Creek

Ecosystem Renewal Burn Pic.jpg
 

The BC Wildfire Service plans to conduct a 32-hectare ecosystem restoration burn in the Gibbs Creek area about 10 kilometres west of Grand Forks, off the Gibbs Creek Forest Service Road.

The exact timing of this burn will depend on weather and site conditions. Pre-burning activities and other preparations could begin as early as Monday, May 6, 2019.

Smoke from this controlled burn may be visible from Grand Forks, Highway 3 and surrounding communities. All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the open burning smoke control regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.

Burning will only proceed if conditions are suitable to meet the project’s objectives. Where ecologically suitable, the site may experience some pockets of high-intensity fire due to the amount of forests fuels present. Trained BC Wildfire Service personnel will carefully monitor the fire at all times.

The key goals of this burn include:

  • rejuvenating the shrub, herb and grass layer, which will enhance habitat for mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk;

  • improving overall biodiversity in the area and promoting more climate-resilient tree stands; and

  • reducing accumulations of dead and combustible material, which will decrease the risk of future catastrophic wildfires in the area.

Fire is a normal and natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems. The BC Wildfire Service works regularly with land managers to undertake fuel management activities, including the use of prescribed burns, to help reduce the severity of future wildfires and related threats to communities.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Learn More:

A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online: http://ow.ly/E8Ue30br7OY

Follow the latest wildfire news:

  • on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo 

  • on Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo Fire is a normal and natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems. The BC Wildfire Service works regularly with land managers to undertake fuel management activities, including the use of prescribed burns, to help reduce the severity of future wildfires and related threats to communities.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Learn More:

A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online: http://ow.ly/E8Ue30br7OY

Follow the latest wildfire news:

May Creek Wildfire Risk Reduction And Forest Health Improvement Project

West Boundary Community Forest is conducting a fuel-reduction project in the May Creek area.

Lodgepole pine and blowdown will be removed to mitigate the risk of a large-scale fire as well as provide access to fire crews in the future.

The northern section of the permit will focus on the removal of trees infected with mistletoe, root rot, and pine beetle. Thinning will provide the growing space for healthy trees to thrive and the understory to rejuvenate. Most of the harvesting will occur during the late Fall/Winter months and final cleanup will take place in late Spring 2019.

May Creek Project Poster.jpg

ANNUAL WBCF UPDATE, Wed, Dec 5, 2018

The annual WBCF Community Meeting was held on Wednesday, December 5 at McArthur Centre in Greenwood. Residents of West Boundary, as well as RDKB Area E Director, Vicki Gee, and local media attended to hear from the Board of Directors and the Manager of the Community Forest, Dan Macmaster, Registered Professional Forester, (RPF).

The presentation included information about forest operations completed this year, as well as current and future permits. In addition, Dan Macmaster outlined two grant applications to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) which, if successful, will help to fund wildfire mitigation projects in the Jewel Lake and May Creek areas of WBCF.

Ross Elliott, Board Secretary outlined the governance structure, and provided financials including shareholder dividends, and disbursements in the form of grants and scholarships.

Attendees were invited to ask questions and provide their feedback. They also received a visual tour of the new website and Facebook page, and were invited to check in regularly and also share their feedback via posts, comments, email and phone. The purpose of the website and Facebook page is to provide the Board and Community Forest Manager with increased opportunity to engage with stakeholders, and broader access for residents to share feedback and seek information.

Click the link to view the PDF of the December 2018 Presentation to Community Members