Alberni Valley Community Forest Update

Circumventing red tape and bypassing bureaucratic bog down prompted the city to purchase shares in its own community forest corporation.


Port Alberni city councillors voted to spend $125,000 to purchase 1,250 shares at a $100 a piece.

According to a report by city manager Ken Watson the move is possible because the city already allocates $250,000 for start-up and operational funding for the Alberni Valley Community Forest Corporation.

The transaction passes the litmus tests of both the city’s solicitor as well as the community charter.

The share purchase “…is the best way for the city to capitalize the AVCFC,” Watson’s report noted.

The investment would be paid back once the corporation is on its feet and making money.

Coun. Hira Chopra questioned whether this was the best way to do business.

“Our expectation is that this corporation will make money,” Watson said.

“There’s no guarantee though.”

Forestry is a tough go but things have to get moving.

“I think it would be naive to think that it would be easy for anybody on the coast would make money harvesting trees in the current climate,” community forest corporation chair Jim Sears said.

The money will help them start up and navigate through the planning process, he added. The corporation is in the midst of hiring a manager and expects to begin harvesting in April 2011.

Bigger things could be in the offing if comments made at the recent UBCM meeting are any indication.

“I talked to the forest minister of forests (Pat Bell) and he said if we do a good job on this one we’ll get more land,” mayor Ken McRae said.

By Wawmeesh G. Hamilton – Alberni Valley News
Published: October 14, 2010 1:00 PM

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