Community Forest: Being accountable

Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society (LNTCFS)recently hold five Accountability Meetings

Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society Chair Harley Wright making a presentation to attendees at the Barriere LNTCFS Accountability Meeting and Dinner on Mar. 3 in the Barriere Lions Hall.

Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society Chair Harley Wright making a presentation to attendees at the Barriere LNTCFS Accountability Meeting and Dinner on Mar. 3 in the Barriere Lions Hall.

The Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society (LNTCFS)recently held five  Accountability Meetings and Dinners within the communities of McLure, Squam Bay, Little Fort, Chu Chua and Barriere with over 100 turning out to her what the LNTCFS is all about.

Each meeting (after a tasty meal) featured a power point presentation about the Society that included accountability against their Strategic Plan, performance against Provincial Community Forest objectives, and economic development.

Input and feedback was encouraged from all attendees so that questions could be answered, and with ideas shared for the Lower North Thompson’s future.

The LNTCFS is a Not-for-Profit Society founded in 2004, it has a 12 person Board of Directors and two employees.  The mission statement of the Society is:  To endure and provide to the Lower North Thompson through sustainable forestry.  The vision of the organization is;  To manage forest for the benefit of all citizens of the Lower North Thompson.  The LNTCFS carries a small area-based forestry license which is within the Barriere area and the vicinity Barriere Lakes Road and South Barriere Lake.

The LNTCFS Strategic Plan has four priority areas:  Education, forests and environment; Communities; Expansion and development.  They have eight provincial goals:  Provide opportunities for a range of community objectives, values and priorities; Diversify use and benefits of the CFA area; Provide social and economical benefits to B.C.; Environmental stewardship; Promote community involvement; Building Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relationship building; Foster innovation; and Advocate forest worker safety.

This is the fourth year the LNTCFS has been working under a Single Cutting Permit covering the entire license area.  The wood is sold on the open market to maximize revenue to the Society, who reports 42,690m3 in total volume producing $2.83m in sales.  Wood was shipped; 45% to Tolko Industries, Heffley/Nicola/Armstrong; 10% to Interfor, Adams Lake; 16% to Gilbert Smith, Barriere; 12% to Canfor, Vavenby; 5% for various uses such as firewood, house logs, rails, pulp); and 3% to Woodco, Barriere.

LNTCFS have awarded contracts since 2013/2014 to the following; Logging – DRB Contracting, Salle Ranch, Stamer Logging, and Rilcoe Contracting; Silviculture – All Stars Silviculture, Dynamic Reforestation, Greg Fennell Contracting, Gro Trz Consulting, and Stillwater Forestry Services; Development/Surveys/Mapping – Thompson Resource Management, and Odyssey 91 Forestry Services; LiDAR – Silvatech Consulting, Forsite Consultants, and Strategic Forestry Consultants; and Timber Supply Analysis – Ecora Resource Group.

LNTCFS’ investment in the land base through their Forest Stewardship Fund totals $30,000 per year.

Their research and education program has involved a UBC summer intern program  for the years 2014 and 2015.

Under Recreation the LNTCFS is currently making application to build a walk out dock on Dixon Lake so those without boats can fish there.

For Job Creation LNTCFS currently is sponsoring a Job Creation Partnership through the Ministry of Social Development that provides training and work experience for EI funded participants.  Rick Proulx has been hired as a supervisor for this project which includes trail clearing, the Fishtrap Recreation Site, and Manual Brushing.  This is the sixth program of its kind the LNTCFS has sponsored for a total value of $1,320,373 since 2010.

In regards to grants and donations:

• 2013/2014 – $$6000 in Bursaries and $10,000 in Scholarships to Barriere Secondary School 2015 Grad Class.

• 2013/2014 – In Community Grants totaling $63,700.

• 2014/2015 – Donation of $55,000 to Barriere Search and Rescue towards construction of their building

• 2014/2015 $19,000 in Scholarships and Bursaries to Barriere Secondary

•2014/2015 $29,375 in Community Grants

Chair of the LNTCFS, Harley Wright, noted at the Barriere Accountability Meeting that the organization still has $150,000 in funding earmarked for the Barriere Splash in the Past project.

Wright noted during his address, “Their are 56 Community Forest groups in B.C. right now.  I have been a director of the BC Community Forest and I can say that I think Barriere is one of the best.”

Wright went on to say, “We [LNTCFS] have funds set aside for contingency and silviculture.  We role with what we have, and do the best we can with what we have.  The timber market you can’t do much about – it has its ups and downs.  We have a great group of directors, and Mike Francis (RPF) is a great asset.”

He stated that continuing on with the licence is up to the provincial government, “The Province has been pretty good about supporting Community Forests.  We have a 25 year licence, and at the end of that time I think we can only do what we can do.  It’s up to the government.”

If you would like to learn more about the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society go to:  lntcfs.org/  or find their office at 4648 Barriere Town Road, Barrière,, phone:(250) 672-1941.