Planning is well underway for the annual BCCFA event. The conference will be co-hosted by the Burns Lake, Chinook and Cheslatta Community Forests and together they are preparing an experience for delegates that should not be missed.
Burns Lake (BLCF), the very first CFA awarded in BC, was the site for the 2006 BCCFA conference. Many of us were first exposed to the vast extent of the devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle as we traveled from other parts of the province. The memory of coming around a corner and seeing red pine trees on an entire hillside for the first time remains vivid. Burns Lake was at the centre of the epidemic and was among the first to get an uplift in their AAC to get the beetle wood out.
The 2006 conference theme – From Pilots to Performers – recognized that community forestry is not just a political experiment or social engineering, rather that CFAs are significant contributors to the economy of rural and First Nation communities and hold a long term commitment to the land, regardless of the challenges. Now, 12 years later, the beetle uplift is winding down and BLCF is setting priorities for post beetle management. Their strategy includes extensive community engagement, strengthened relationships with their First Nation partners and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Proud of the successes and open to sharing the lessons learned along the way, BLCF, along with the Cheslatta and the new Chinook Community Forests are looking forward to welcoming delegates to Burns Lake.