Profits go up at Wells Gray Community Forest

Transfers for disbursements increase from $250,000 to $500,000

Map shows the location of Wells Gray Community Forest's three operating areas: Raft

Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation made a gross profit of nearly $900,000 last year, according to Joel Steinberg, corporation president.

In a report presented to the community forest’s annual public meeting held in mid-April, Steinberg said a transfer of $500,000 from the gross profit was made to Wells Gray 2010 Society, which handles disbursements for the community forest.

WGCF generates income by selling logs through local logging contractors using competitive bids. The majority of logs are purchased by Canfor and Interfor, with some going to Gilbert Smith and Tolko as well. Specialty product logs have been sold to Wadlegger Specialty Forest Products.

The year before, WGCF corporation reported a gross profit of about $750,000 and transferred $250,000 to the society.

Commenting on the community forest’s annual public meeting, general manager George Brcko said the log harvest during the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2015 was 55,000 cubic metres.

This was 22,000 cubic meters above the community forest’s annual allowable cut (AAC) to take advantage of higher market prices plus to ensure the community forest meets if five-year cut control.

WGCF is in its fourth year of its second five-year cut control period, Brcko said.

BC Forest Service allows forest tenure holders some leeway in how much of their AAC they harvest each year. However, over their five-year cut control period the tenure holders, such as the community forest, must utilize all of their AAC or risk losing part of it.

Infrastructure improvements included construction of a 12.2 m bridge at Wylie Creek plus 4.2 km of road at various locations.

The goal is to have four years of standing timber inventory (STI), which are cut-blocks ready to be harvested, with all referrals and development completed.

Local contracting company Longfellows Inc. (Wes Bieber) is undertaking a 15-year timber forecast plan.

The community forest is beginning a forest modelling project to help predict future harvest locations. The program will consider aspects of forest management such as wildlife habitat, fire interface areas, sustainable rates of cutting in watersheds and future silviculture investments.

A highlight of 2015 was hosting the BC Community Forest Association conference and annual general meeting last May.

Celebrating National Forest Week in September was another highlight. Activities included a public field tour.

WGCF planted 251 hectares with 230,800 seedlings last year.

The planting was done by a company from Dunster that hired several local planters.

The use of fertilizer at the time of planting continues at selected sites. Fertilizing provides the seedling reduces the need for brushing later.

The community forest brushed 71.8 ha last year to reduce the impacts of competing hardwoods on Douglas fir and lodgepole pine.


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