The mission of the BCCFA is to promote and support the practice and expansion of sustainable community forest management in BC. The purposes of the Association are to:
• Work to ensure the viability of community forest initiatives
• Provide education on community forestry issues
• Assist community forest practitioners in accessing resources required to succeed
• Promote community forest management as a strategy for community economic development
All of these purposes speak to the importance of extension in the work of the Association. We define extension as the dissemination of educational resources and expertise to community forest practitioners. It includes an array of communication and learning opportunities
Extension services are offered to BCCFA members within the following three categories:
a) as part of our core operations
b) through the UBC Extension Project, and
c) on a fee for service basis.
The Core Extension Services are provided by contract staff. Services include liaison with CFAs on requests for information, resources and problem solving. The level of service is limited by the funding approved by the board of directors in the annual Core Operating Budget. There are currently no funds to support travel of contract staff in the provision of these services.
The UBC Extension Project is funded by an anonymous donor through an agreement with the University of British Columbia to offer onsite information sessions to approximately 10 BCCFA member communities annually. Ken Day, Manager of the Alex Fraser Research Forest, and Susan Mulkey of the BCCFA, form the Extension Team. Sessions are free of charge and are held for about 3 hours per session.
The Fee for Service Extension stream offers the skills of Susan Mulkey and her expertise gained through 18 years of dedication to the success of community forest organizations. Susan is available to help community forests navigate the strategic planning process in an engaging and focused way. Drawing on the best practices in the Guidebook II, Susan can help with design of needed policies to bring focus and align expectations and priorities. With her insight and coaching, Susan can support problem solving and support with tricky issues such as clarification of respective roles and communication between board and paid staff, how to make the most of volunteer time and efforts and effective community engagement.