Kamloops, B.C.: ahead of the BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) Conference and AGM in Mission, B.C. June 12 to 14, the team at the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is reflecting on the important work community forests throughout the province are undertaking to mitigate wildlife risk and at the same time enhance wildlife habitat, forest recreation, increase the utilization of fibre, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through various treatments. These projects provide a triple win for British Columbians: increased social, economic and environmental benefits.

“Wildfire risk reduction to protect people, homes, businesses, communications, water, power, and emergency escape routes is a priority for FESBC and community forests. We’ve been able to collaborate with many community forests throughout the province and have worked in unison with the BCCFA,” said FESBC Executive Director Steve Kozuki. “The BCCFA is a network of community-based organizations in B.C. that are either currently managing or striving to establish community forests. Their leadership to ensure the viability of community forest initiatives, to provide education on community forestry issues, and to promote community forest management as a strategy for rural economic development is outstanding. Many of their members have received FESBC funding to do critical work to enhance and protect their community forests, and a great number of these projects are now reaching important project milestones.”

Echoing Kozuki’s comments is BCCFA Executive Director Jennifer Gunter. “British Columbians are passionate about community forests because they involve the three pillars of sustainable development: social, ecological, and economic stability. At its core, community forestry is about local control over, and the enjoyment of, the monetary and non-monetary benefits offered by local forest resources. We are so pleased to have FESBC fund many community forest projects and already see the great outcomes these projects are providing local communities across the province.”