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Pemberton to apply for community forest


Pemberton's Mayor Elinor Warner announced at Tuesday's council meeting that the village will be applying to the province for a community forest.

If granted Pemberton could have an additional source of revenue from a locally run forestry operation.

A community forest is any forestry operation managed by a local government, community group, First Nation or community-held corporation for the benefit of the entire community.

The provincial government launched the program five years ago and received 27 applications for community forests.

There are currently eight operating in the province, ranging in size from 400 hectares to more than 60,000 hectares.

Kelly Finck, senior timber tenures forester with the Ministry of Forestry, said community forests can create new businesses and industries, as well as recreational and educational opportunities.

Finck said there have been no province-wide open calls for community forest agreements since 1998 but under the Forestry Revitalization Plan announced in March 2003, the province committed to providing new opportunities for community forest agreements in the future.

"We should start seeing those opportunities this coming summer or possibly fall," said Finck.

"There's definitely successes and there's other communities that are struggling. It's a difficult time in the forest industry for a lot of tenure holders.

"The fact that the government has indicated that they want to expand the program... that would indicate that the government must believe that community forests are doing reasonably well."