2023 Conference Presentations

A Vision for Change: Government Policy Priorities for the Forest Sector

The Provinces’ vision for the future of the forest sector provided the context for this session. Each one of our presenters helped us understand how the provincial government is working to bring this vision to fruition in collaboration with First Nations, along and with forest sector stakeholders and partners.

Moderator Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director BCCFA


Resiliency Through Fire – Prescribed Fire and Indigenous Led Cultural Burning

The presenters shared their experiences of using fire as a tool for ecosystem health and their process with the community and the Ministry to make it happen.

Moderator – Tony Pesklevits, Deputy Director, BC Wildfire Service


Bridging Cultures – A Framework for Collaboration Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Knowledge Systems

In this session we heard from two leaders in the work of reconciliation and integrating Western and Indigenous approaches to governance, policy and stewardship of lands, water and ecosystems. Gwen introduced the “Ethical Space Framework “ and Lennard spoke about the trust-building required to navigate the transformation underway in forestry. Following the presentations, the audience participated in a discussion.

Moderator, David Waldron, Synapse Strategies


It’s More Than Just Old Growth: How the Old Growth Strategic Review Positions us for Future Forest Management 

In this session we learned about the development of an Action Plan to implement the Old Growth Strategic Review Recommendations and discussed priority topics for community forests. While recommendation #6 regarding old growth deferrals has received the most attention to date, when taken together, the full suite of 14 recommendations is meant to provide a framework for transformative change in the forest sector.

Moderators – Dave Gill, RPF,  Westbank Community Forest and Warren Hansen, RPF, Sunshine Coast Community Forest


Community Forest Communications: Engagement, Understanding and Action 

It has been said that the forestry part of community forest management is easy, it is the community part that is challenging. Community forests by their very nature and through their legal obligations must engage with the community. In this session we heard how to find success with our community outreach efforts.

Moderators – Susan Mulkey, BCCFA and Sara Zieleman, Executive Director, Sunshine Coast Community Forest


The Future of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Management

The Forest and Range Practices Act reforms include a new wildfire objective and provisions for Government to establish mandatory forest practices within WUI areas to address the critical need to protect human health and safety. In this session we learned more about the proposal and the work of the BCCFA to identify the challenges and help find solutions for successful implementation.

Moderator – Jennifer Gunter, BCCFA


Community Forest Board Governance Essentials 

All community forests have a board of directors. The legal structure of the community forest organization will direct some roles and responsibilities and functions and of the board, but some functions will be driven by the governance approach adopted by the organization. In this session, we looked at the governance history of community forest organizations in BC, what works and the pitfalls to avoid.


Forest Landscape Plans – What will they mean for my community forest? 

There are currently four Forest Landscape Plan (FLPs) pilot projects underway in the province with eight new FLP projects recently announced. Some community forests are involved in these projects in their local area, while others are not. In this session we heard about the FLP framework and how community forests can be involved.

Moderator – Randy Spyksma, RPF, Forsite


Wildfire Resiliency Roundtable – Manager’s Knowledge Exchange

Community Forests have played an important role as proponents of wildfire risk reduction treatments. In this session we heard from managers about what you have learned through your work so far, and what skills and tools all community forest managers need to be successful in the new era of wildfire risk and climate change. Managers shared best practices in mitigating wildfire risk, and what they need to increase capacity and overcome barriers. We will also heard about the objectives of the new project launched by the BCCFA/BCWS  partnership.

Moderator – Jennifer Gunter, BCCFA



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