From Jill Hayward, BCLocalNews.com:
The Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society is alive and well.
From managing the community forest, to creating long term employment and job training, and even providing area residents with firewood, the LNTCFS has proven to be a viable and worthwhile endevour for this area. Their 2019 report notes that harvesting and hauling are now complete on the blocks harvested last winter, and the LNTCFS fall/winter harvest plans are targeting Douglas-fir beetle impacted and lower value stands. Jay Springs Forestry Consulting is the logging contractor for these projects.
Site preparation (stump removal and piling) has been completed on last winter’s harvested blocks, done by Greg Fennell Contracting, and these blocks will be planted spring 2020 by Dynamic Reforestation.
Two summer students joined the LNTCFS for the summer of 2019. Through their summer with the LNTCFS, they gained valuable experience working in the industry and doing a variety of field activities including silviculture assessments, tree planting, forest health surveys, road inspections, and manual brushing. They also attended the BC Community Forest Association Conference to learn, network, and represent the LNTCFS. Funding for these positions was provided through the UBC Community Forest Internship Program and PLT Green Jobs Canada.
Also, during the summer of 2019, road rehabilitation work began within the community forest in an effort to initiate implementation of their 2017 Legacy Roads Rehabilitation Plan. The work took place in the Dixon Lake, Needmore Lake, and Haggard Creek areas of the community forest, resulting in a total of 18 hectares of non-productive roads being rehabilitated back into productive growing sites. Rilcoe Contracting and Jay Springs Forestry Consulting completed the work, and these areas will be planted spring 2020. These treatments were funded through the LNTCFS internally restricted Forest Stewardship Fund, used for reinvestment back into the community forest land base.
The 2019 current Job Creation Project with the LNTCFS is underway, being a year long milling and carpentry project that partners with the Simpcw First Nation. It started in April 2019 and will run until March 2020. The project sees four to six participants gain work experience in completing construction of five 16’x 20’timber frame cabins for the proposed Simpcw Cultural Education Centre location at the north end of Dunn Lake. Rick Proulx and Uli Migl were hired as supervisors for the project and construction of the guest cabins.
The LNTCFS also partnered this year with the Back Country Horsemen – North Thompson Chapter to deliver a Skull Mountain Trails Restoration Project utilizing a grant of $64,621 from the Rural Dividend Fund. The four month project involved clearing of existing trails in the Skull Mountain area as well as upgrades to the Fishtrap Creek Recreation Site. A three person crew was hired to complete this work.
The LNTCFS also continues to invest in economic development at their mill site in the Barriere Industrial Park. The bandmill operation is run full time, with Henry Bowie employed as their sawyer for custom cut lumber and timbers. They have also installed an extension to the mill allowing a cut of 30′ logs.
The LNTCFS also processes, sells and delivers firewood. The firewood sales improve their ability to fully utilize the logs from the community forest, while creating new opportunities for employment, innovation, and revenue generation. Learn more about the LNTCFS go to: https://lntcfs.org/ or call 250-672-1941.
IMAGE: Lower North Thompson Community Forest summer students, Ira and Breagh, gained valuable experience working with the community forest in 2019. (LNTCFS photo)
By Susie Quinn Alberni Valley News September 30, 2022