Press Release March 22, 2021
Victoria, BC and the Territories of Xwsepsum and Lekwungen First Nations:
Community Forest Agreement (CFA) K5K has recently been awarded to the Spelkumtn Community Forest Limited Partnership. The newest community forest, a partnership of the Lil’wat Nation and Village of Pemberton, brings 17,727 hectares of Crown Land under community based management. The tenure will have an annual harvest of 11,000 cubic meters. The name Speĺkúmtn (pronounced spill koom tim) comes from the Lil’wat name of a small hill near One Mile Lake (Signal Hill) that translates to “nuts stashed away by squirrel.”
Consideration had been given to a CFA in the vicinity of the Village of Pemberton since 2005, when the now Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD) issued an invitation to the Village to participate in the program. For the next few years, the local government weighed the feasibility of a community forest and the economies of scale, identified a preferred area for the CFA and conducted an analysis of the potential annual harvest. Yet, efforts to move the CFA initiative forward were limited until 2014 when a CFA feasibility study and a community engagement process was conducted. Shortly after, the Village and the Lil’wat Nation made the decision to pursue the CFA together. The agreement between the Province, Lil’wat Nation and Village of Pemberton, signed in September 2020, is for a term of 25 years and can be extended.