2020 Report Measuring the Benefits of BC’s Community Forests Released

For Immediate Release
October 22, 2020 

Victoria, BC and the Territories of Xwsepsum and Lekwungen First Nations: The BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA) is pleased to share the 2020 Community Forest Indicators Report. The Indicators Report, now in its 6th year, contains analysis of 18 different areas where community forests deliver economic, social, cultural, and environmental benefits to their rural and Indigenous communities and to the Province. Community forestry is a strategy to promote ecosystem resilience and community economic development. Communities need both to move forward. The report demonstrates the importance of community forests to the sustainable future of these communities and the land that surrounds them.

Community forests are creating more jobs in rural communities. This year’s results show that community forests are creating 85% more jobs/ m3 than the industry average in their forestry, logging and support services. They operate in sensitive areas and are reliably supplying logs to both major processing facilities and small manufacturers. They are generating economic activity, while contributing to local projects.

With community forests located primarily in the land surrounding communities, they are acting on the urgent need to manage these areas to adapt to climate change and mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire. This year’s results show a tripling of the community forests’ own investments in wildfire management –  evidence of the leadership role that community forests are playing. They are managing for ecosystem resilience and investing in forest stewardship, above and beyond legal requirements.

“Community forests are showing British Columbians that forest management can be much more than timber harvesting and the economic bottom line. By supporting the success of existing community forests and by investing in the creation of more and larger community forests, the Province can solve multiple problems. The time is now to empower communities to become true partners in modern, collaborative, and sustainable land management,” said Jennifer Gunter, Executive Director of the BCCFA.

The BCCFA is a network of rural community-based organizations engaged in community forest management, and those seeking to establish new community forests. They represent over 100 rural and Indigenous communities across the province.

View the full report at  https://bccfa.ca/indicators-report/

Contact: Susan Mulkey, BCCFA Manager of Communication & Extension
smulkey@bccfa.ca   250 353 1477

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