Community forests benefit from new policy

BC Community Forests are welcoming a new permitting process announced by the government recently.

BC Community Forests are welcoming a new permitting process announced by the government recently. The Single Cutting Permit policy change will support greater flexibility for harvesting operations and long term stewardship and will help Community Forests to be better positioned to respond to the needs of value added manufacturers.

The new policy is the outcome of an ongoing collaboration between the BC Community Forest Association and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. “We see this new policy as recognition of the contribution Community Forests bring to forest based communities. It is recognition of the ability of Community Forests to contribute to local economies. The new permitting process will allow Community Forests to be more nimble in their management of the land base and more responsive to local needs,” said Jennifer Gunter, BC Community Forest Association Executive Director.

Responding to member need, top priority was given to the Single Cutting Permit Pilot Project. The pilot project was initiated in the summer of 2011, with five communities participating: North: Valemount and Dunster; South: Wells Gray and Esketem’c; Coast: Powell River.

The BCCFA President, Kevin Davie responded to the announcement commenting, “This process will allow greater flexibility for Community Forests to support the needs of small, value-added manufacturers in rural communities. Small, value-added manufacturers and Community Forests help support local economies by providing employment. This announcement comes at a critical time in our economy, and we are proud to have been able to work with Minister Thompson’s staff in achieving this important goal.”

For more information go to the BCCFA website