Community forest for city a possibility

The city may be one step closer to having its own community forest

The city may be one step closer to having its own community forest.

At last week’s strategic meeting, councillors voted to hire a forestry consultant for no more than $6,000 to determine the viability of a community forest.

Council was presented with a recommendation to apply for a community forest two months ago but was hesitant to get involved.

Nigel Ross, chair of the city’s Future Forestry Task Force, warned council that there were a number of considerations.

“Campbell River is a forest dependent community and a community forest would fit with the town’s theme,” Ross said. “Community forests can be a viable business and can make a positive fiscal contribution to the town. But it should be kept in mind that any business does have the risk of losing money, especially if social objectives override fiscal priorities.”

Community forests are on provincial land and leased by communities for terms of 25 years, with a renewable option every 10 years. Although the lessee decides when, where and what to log and who to sell the logs to, the location of the forest is a joint decision between the community and the province.

The location of the forest, as well as the objectives, are the biggest factors in whether or not the city could turn a profit.

“If it is run like a business it might make money, if it is run for social reasons then it will probably lose money,” Ross said.

He said if the city is offered a community forest, the land base and the timber resource should be critically evaluated as both have a big impact on profitability.

“There is some vacant crown land around Campbell River that is presently not contributing to the provincial AAC (Annual Allowable Cut),” Ross said. “This land should be incorporated into the Community Forest.

“It should be noted that much of this land is within the Campbell River Community Watershed and could be very environmentally sensitive.”

Ross said if the city goes ahead with a community forest it should also consider making the logs available to local businesses at market prices and management of the forest should not be handled by the city.

“All phases of the community forest should be tendered out,” Ross said.

“The manager should be given clear objectives to achieve. If there is a board of directors the manager reports to, then they should be largely volunteer.”

Ross said he believes a community forest would be a good fit for Campbell River but stresses it can be a risky business.

“The chances of profitability can be greatly improved if actions are taken to maximize revenue and minimize costs,” Ross said.

 

Just Posted

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

InspireHealth workshop in Campbell River supports those with cancer

The free event takes place at Berwick by the Sea on Feb. 2

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read