May 23 2018
BURNS LAKE, BC – Delegates to the BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) 14th Conference and AGM are arriving in Burns Lake. The BCCFA is excited to be returning to Burns Lake where community forestry is such a strong and vibrant force in the local community and economy. We are also especially fortunate to be hosted jointly by the Burns Lake, Chinook, and Cheslatta Community Forests.
Preparing to welcome delegates from community forests representing nearly 100 BC First Nations and non-Indigenous communities, BCCFA President, Erik Leslie said, “I look forward to sharing stories and ideas with everyone in the next few days. Community forests are unique in their communities and landscapes but they share the fact that they are leaders in a growing community-based forestry movement in Canada. Community organizers, elected officials, managers, and researchers from far and wide look to BC community forests as concrete examples of what can be achieved when local people take responsibility for our forest lands. “
Minister of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD), Doug Donaldson is the keynote speaker for Friday’s lunch, where he will also announce the 2018 Robin Hood Memorial Award for Excellence in Community Forestry. With many new government initiatives, several provincial officials will address the conference delegates including Shane Berg, Deputy Chief Forester, Ian Meier, Director of Operations with BC Wildfire Service, Kevin Kriese, ADM Regional Operations North, Gord Pratt with the Forest Enhancement Society, and Marc Imus with the Rural Development arm of the MFLNRORD.
Representatives from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, will speak about the work is that is underway, the types of agreements being made, and the opportunity and role for community forests in the process of reconciliation beyond the legal requirements of the tenure and why the effort is important.
The final session of the conference will be all about fire. The 4 person panel will take us through the experience of an evacuee from the Williams Lake fires, the science of fire and its role in the ecosystem, the indicators and factors that have contributed to our current situation of insect outbreaks and fire risk, to stories of challenges and successes in the mitigation of risk.
Conference organizer Susan Mulkey said, “Conference ticket sales are robust and the banquet is sold out. The program is full of compelling, informative, education focused sessions, dynamic discussions and opportunities to share and hear diverse perspectives. Through the recruitment efforts of the conference hosts and the generosity of the local community, sponsorships are at a record high and our hosts are telling us to be ready to be amazed with what they have in store for us. It is going to be a great event”.
Contact: Jennifer Gunter
BCCFA Executive Director
For more information on the BC Community Forest Association visit: www.bccfa.ca