West Boundary, B.C.
L>R: City of Greenwood presentation: (L to R) Mayor Barry Noll, Councillor Mark Seymour, Greenwood CAO Marcus Lebler, Councillor John Bolt, Community Forest Manager Dan Macmaster
L>R:Village of Midway presentation: (L to R) Councillor Richard Dunsdon, Midway CAO Penny Feist, Community Forest Manager Dan Macmaster, Mayor Martin Fromme, Councillor Darren Metcalf, Councillor Gary Schierbeck, and Councillor Fred Grouette.
West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) is pleased to announce that it has presented one million dollars in dividends—$500,000 to the City of Greenwood and $500,000 to the Village of Midway—both joint shareholders of the community forest. The money will provide these two rural communities with necessary funds to address many local initiatives that require funding such as economic development, affordable housing, wildfire prevention, tourism and recreation, and educational opportunities.
“The West Boundary Community Forest provides our community of Greenwood with local jobs, input on forest management, and much needed revenue for our small rural community,” said Barry Noll, Mayor of Greenwood. “Our partnership with the Village of Midway and the forest management provided by Vaagen Fibre Canada are essential to our communities and the continued success of the community forest.”
Echoing Mayor Noll is Midway’s Mayor Martin Fromme.
“We are proud of our community forest which received the distinction of ‘Community Forest of the Year’ from the BC Community Forest Association for its excellent management, innovation, and community outreach efforts,” said Fromme. “These funds we have been presented with will allow us to invest in our community and Outdoor Education Centre to the benefit of all residents who live here.”
WBCF is governed by a board of directors and has a management agreement with Vaagen Fibre Canada in Midway to manage its operations. It has an allowable annual cut of 23,000 cubic metres per year and covers approximately 17,760 hectares around the City of Greenwood and Village of Midway in the Boundary region. The WBCF was awarded the Robin Hood Memorial Award in 2020 for excellence in community forest management by the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA) for their innovation and leadership in land management.
“The West Boundary Community Forest has been doing incredible work in providing social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits to local communities,” said Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BCCFA. “These dividend cheques are an exciting example of the importance of community forests and the local control over where the benefits will go.”
Dan Macmaster, Manager of the West Boundary Community Forest and Fibre Manager for Vaagen Fibre Canada is pleased with the efforts of so many community members which have led to the successes to date.
“It truly takes a community to operate a community forest successfully,” Macmaster remarked. “The West Boundary Community Forest is committed to having a very light touch on the landscape using innovative harvesting method to minimize disturbance to soil, wildlife habitat, and neighbouring trees. Our commitment to sustainable forestry, good land management practices, and providing educational opportunities to everyone in our community are our primary focuses, and these dividend cheques are a tangible opportunity to give back to the communities that support us.”