The economy of the Upper North Thompson Valley is forest-based and District of Clearwater has appointed a forestry working group to help it in its decisions.
During its May 15 meeting, town council appointed the following representatives to the group: Dave Dobi, Canfor; George Brcko, Wells Gray Community Forest; Warren MacLennan, Clearwater Woodlot Society; Bas Delaney, Health Forests/Healthy Communities; Myles Bruns, Ministry of Jobs, Innovation and Tourism; Cheryl Thomas, Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce; Barry Banford, councilor; Jon Kreke, councilor; and Mitch Miller, Wells Gray Country services committee.
Still to be announced are representatives from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Small Scale Salvage, and Simpcw First Nation.
The appointments will be for until the end of the year, at which time the function of the working group will be reassessed. The group is being set up as a sub-committee of the District’s economic development committee of the whole.
Its first task will be to develop its own terms of reference for approval by town council.
Setting up a forestry working group for the community was one of the recommendations coming out of a Healthy Forests/Healthy Communities workshop held in Clearwater last November.
The role of the working group would be to provide community stakeholders with an opportunity to have their interests represented while moving the Healthy Forests/Healthy Communities initiative forward.
Those initiatives would include a focus on:
• sustainable and stable employment;
• addressing ongoing centralization of government decision-making;
• local influence on forest land decisions;
• changes to current timber tenures; and
• education and training in the forest sector.