Lake Babine Nation and the Village of Granisle pursue a Community Forest

The Lake Babine Nation and Village of Granisle will benefit from new jobs and stronger relationships

, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad predicted while congratulating the two communities on the invitation to jointly apply for a community forest agreement.

“Community forests bring land management to a local level and ensure decisions are made with community values foremost in mind,” said Rustad. “They also result in direct employment in everything from silviculture, planning, and operations to value-added manufacturing.”

The boundaries of the community forest are still being determined, but are likely to include several areas near Granisle and the south shores of Babine Lake. The agreement will carry a 25-year term, and grant the right to harvest up to 5,000 cubic metres of timber per year. The community forest will be managed by a not-for-profit society with representation from both communities, and preserve areas of high cultural importance, wildlife habitat and fish values. “The community forest is a good example of how consultation and communication can lead to new business opportunities, jobs and community partnerships in our Traditional Territory,” said Lake Babine Nation Chief Wilf Adam. “As the Village of Granisle is the only town in our Traditional Territory, we are happy to partner with them to build our relationship, communities and local economy.” “Community forests support the economic diversity and growth that small communities like the Lake Babine Nation and Granisle really need,” said Village of Granisle Mayor Fredrick Clarke. “We will pursue and benefit from the range of financial opportunities a community forest presents, while ensuring the natural and cultural values so important to both communities are preserved for the long-term.” Once the community forest boundaries are determined, the next steps include the submission, review, and approval of a management plan, after which the community forest agreement can be issued and operations begin. “It’s great to see the Lake Babine Nation and Granisle working together to create a community forest,” said Bell. “I’m confident their partnership will create more jobs and economic spin offs for both communities.”

Community forest agreements are a form of legal tenure that enable communities to more fully participate in the stewardship of local Crown forest resources. They are area-based, and give communities exclusive rights to harvest timber, as well as the opportunity to manage and profit from other forest resources such as botanical products, recreation, wildlife, water and scenic viewscapes. More than 50 community forests are operating or are in the planning stages in British Columbia.

 

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NEWS RELEASE

July 22, 2010
Ministry of Forests and Range Media Contact:
Cheekwan Ho Public Affairs Officer Ministry of Forests and Range 250 387-8482
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.

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