Community forest reports at annual meeting

Wells Gray Community Forest reports on completion of 10 years of operation and giving away millions of dollars

Community forest reports at annual meeting

General manager George Brcko highlighted the WGCFC (CF) activities for 2016, what is planned for 2017 and summed up the past five years of accomplishments for the Community Forest.

The Community Forest has completed 10 years of operation and its second cut control, which is a proud achievement for the corporation.

Volume harvested in 2016 was 24,117 m3 and was competitively bid and awarded to a local contractor. As safety is of utmost importance to the CF board, all company’s working for the CF must be SAFE certified with the BC Forest Safety Council.

To ensure continuous harvesting opportunities that are profitable the CF board of directors has a timber management goal to maintain a four-year standing timber inventory (STI). STI is cut-blocks developed with referrals completed and ready to harvest, which allows the CF to take advantage of upcoming markets.

The CF invested in the development of a Silviculture Strategy for its landbase. To develop this strategy a forest-modeling program was used that will help with predicting future silviculture investment areas, identifying the types of treatments and locating any areas that require rehabilitation. This model will also be used to predict future timber harvesting areas taking into consideration the other values on the landscape such as; wildlife habitat, fire interface and sustainable rates of cut in the watersheds.

Road construction and upgrades were completed in 2016 with 4.1 km of permanent road built in the Raft Chart area and significant upgrades to the haul road through culvert replacements.

In the Clearwater Watershed the CF graveled a key section of the Hascheak FSR as part of its commitment to reduce the impacts of their operations within the watershed. No bridges were constructed in 2016, however the CF has a qualified professional inspect, on an annual basis, the safety of bridges, identify any maintenance needs and forecast long-term replacement requirements.

The CF has a Strategic Plan that documents key goals, objectives and activities for the next five years. Strategic plan goals completed in 2016 were the Silviculture Strategy mentioned above, Change Monitoring Inventory and the Road Net Down Study. The Change Monitoring Inventory project is the establishment of long-term sample plots that will improve the CF’s understanding of the productivity of its second growth stands.

The Road Net Down project gaol is to determine that amount of road taken out of the timber supply land base is correct and has not been overestimated, as this affects the cut determination.

In 2016 the CF planted 210,588 seedlings on 151 hectares. Since 2014 the CF has being planting fertilizer pacs with the seedlings on selected nutrient-poor sites to improve seedling growth, reduce the need to brush and ensure the free grow obligation will be met. A total of 71.8 hectares was brushed in 2016 to reduce the impacts of competing hardwoods on the Douglas fir and lodgepole pine plantations.

The CF board of directors handed over to the Wells Gray Community Forest 2010 Society $800,000 to be distributed to the community.

CF plans for 2017 include to start their third cut control, continue to implement the Strategic Plan, complete an assessment on the sustainable rate of cut in the Candle Creek watershed, continue to maintain STI, continue with improvements to road infrastructure, and water control, complete road construction in the Candle Creek ski trails and continue with the Fire Smart committee.

The general manager gave a summary of the past five years of accomplishments for the CF: 800.1 hectares harvested resulting in 41 cut-blocks and 173,142 m3 of volume being removed averaging 267 m3 per hectare, 18.5 km of road constructed, 1,136,721 seedling planted averaging 1,400 stems per hectare, three cut-blocks to be free-growing in 2017, investments made in stewardship have been $109,000, used for Management Plan and Forest Stewardship Plan development and Vegetation Resource Inventory (VRI) of CF land base which sets the stage for future planning.

The CF general manager, as part of National Forestry Week, led a field tour of the CF operations and gave an overview of the Silviculture Strategy and how it will benefit the CF though silviculture investments.

For more information on the CF and to read the 2015-2016 annual report visit their website at


Wells Gray Community Forest Society reports on grants

The Wells Gray Community Forest 2010 Society (WGCFS) gave a report on their 2016 activities and a summary of funds distributed in 2016 and since 2011.

The CF generated higher than normal revenue in 2016 due to strong log markets. This allowed the society to offer $1,000,000 for large community projects in addition to the normal spring and fall granting cycle of $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.

In 2016 there was $164,090.57 approved in the spring and fall grant cycles and $820,000 in the large grant application process.

District of Clearwater made its first loan payment of $20,000 on an interest-free loan approved in 2015 for the Dutch Lake Community Centre biomass furnace.

Total grants/loans approved for distribution since the Wells Gray Community Forest inception in 2006 is $986,868.86 from the spring and fall regular grant application cycles, plus $820,000 from the large grant application process, for a grand total of $1,806.868.86.

The large grant application process was contingent on leveraging funds to be used for other grants and this has resulted in over $6,000,000 being brought into the community though this process.

The application for grants is on the Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation’s website at