2023-2024 BCCFA Board of Directors from left to right: Tania Solonas, Ken Nielsen, Dan Macmaster, Warren Hansen, Randy Spyksma, Aurora Lavender, Daniel Gratton, Klay Tindall, George Brcko. Not pictured: Steve Lorimer.
Randy is the manager of the Logan Lake Community Forest (LLCF). He leads a team of specialists that have transitioned the community forest from Mountain Pine Beetle salvage to a more green-wood focused program, responding now to the significant impacts from the 2021 Tremont Creek Wildfire. He has helped facilitate significant focus and investments by the LLCF in recreation trails and wildfire risk management, demonstrating the key role of local/community engagement and involvement in forest management. Randy is also a Senior Planning Forester with Forsite Consultants Ltd. and leads the companies wildfire risk management services. His passion is in the design and implementation of planning processes that bring groups and individuals together to tackle challenging forest and land management situations. He joined the Board of the BCCFA in 2021.
George has been the Manager of the Wells Gray Community Forest (CF) tenure since its inception in 2006. He is a Registered Forest Technologist with over 28 years of silviculture, small scale forest management, forest harvesting and wildfire and forest fuel planning and management.
George has played an active role on the executive BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) Board of Directors from 2014 to 2019. In 2022, he respectfully accepted the position as the President of the BCCFA after a two-year leave.
He currently provides oversight and is responsible for the planning and coordination of the Wells Gray CF annual operating plan and long-term objectives.
He is passionate about managing the landscape to create climate resilient forests that can continue to provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to communities. He strongly believes in the connection between healthy forests and healthy people, which drives his daily work.
He believes that Community Forest tenures are an opportunity to lead the province in sustainable forest management with an appreciation and respect for the lands and people of British Columbia. When he is not working in the forest, he can be found hiking or climbing up mountains in the beautiful interior of BC.
Manager, Chinook Community Forest
Dan is the forest manager of the West Boundary Community Forest and lives in Grand Forks, BC. He wears a number of hats including the position as Fibre Manager at Vaagen Fibre Canada in Midway, BC, and Head of Forestry for the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). Dan was instrumental in establishing a First Nations Woodland Licence for the OIB, as well as developing numerous non-replaceable forest licences on the Band’s behalf. He believes in multiple objectives across the landscape including wildfire risk reduction, improving forest health, establishing recreational and education values, enhancing wildlife habitat, and working closely with local communities and the OIB to ensure local decisions and jobs are staying local. Dan is an Executive on the Board of Directors for the Interior Lumber Manufacturing Association and has established on Outdoor Education Centre outside of Greenwood for community groups and students to learn about sustainable forest management. Dan has been on the Board of the BCCFA since 2019.
Manager Wetzwin’kwa Community Forest
Manager, Spel̓kúmtn Community Forest
Prior to becoming the G.M, Forest Operations for Lil’wat Nation, BC, Klay lived in Nelson and Golden. Here he worked in various forest engineering & silviculture roles as well as instructing forestry courses for Stillwater Consulting. Now living in the Sea to Sky corridor Klay proudly works for Lil’wat Forestry Ventures (LFV), a Partnership that currently supports the Lilwat Nation by creating profits & employment.
Klay currently is accountable for contract safety and environmental leadership of the operation. He provides guidance in building and coordinating the team responsible for planning and implementing forestry activities. He develops, implements and monitors annual budgets and participates in strategic business development. He oversees harvesting, engineering and silviculture contractors on Lil’wat Nations multiple forest tenures. Currently LFV harvests 125,000m3 annually. That’s 2,500 logging trucks going through Whistler every year!
Klay also oversees the LFV contracting department. LFV averages 30 employees and does contract forest firefighting, fuels management, silviculture, slashing and road maintenance work for other licensees and clients. An important part of Klay’s role is creating jobs in the community and developing employee skills. Klay develops programs and instructs forestry courses for Stillwater consulting and is passionate about creating meaningful employment in the forestry industry.
When he isn’t busy working Klay likes spending time in the mountains around Whistler with his family and friends. His formal education includes an undergraduate degree in Forestry from UBC.
Daniel has served as the Forest Manager of the Creston Community Forest since 2008 and Director with the BC Community Forest Association since 2018. After leaving the prairies, Daniel realized his passion for resource management after a few seasons of tree planting in BC,. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1997. Most of his forestry work experience has been in the Kootenays in consulting and with industry. A strong proponent of forest education, Daniel is a Regional Coordinator with the BC National Forest Week Coalition hosting field trips for elementary and high school students in the Creston Valley. He and the rest of the Creston Community Forest play an instrumental role in developing hiking and mountain bike trails for those living in and visiting the Creston Valley.
Manager Sechelt Community Forest
Manager Qala:yit Community Forest
With over 20 years of experience working in community forestry and community economic development, Jennifer is a passionate advocate for community-based resource management. The granddaughter of a woodsman, Jennifer was born and raised in New Brunswick and moved to British Columbia in 1996 to pursue a Masters in Resource Management from Simon Fraser University, focusing on community forestry. After completing her studies, Jennifer moved to Kaslo, BC where she lived for 15 years with her family on a small farm. Relocating to Victoria in 2014, Jennifer continues to devote her energy to building sustainable local economies and to forest management that benefits local people while creating more resilient ecosystems. One of the co-founders of the BCCFA and long time Executive Director, she has had the pleasure of working with the Board of Directors, staff and membership to help it grow from an organization of just 10 member communities to one of over 50.
Senior manager & Governance specialist
With a background in social work, mediation, and six years as a tree planter, in the early 1990s Susan dove into the deep end of land use planning as the assistant mediator with the Commission on Resources and the Environment (CORE) West Kootenay Land Use Planning table. She found the complex, multiparty process compelling and subsequently shifted her career focus from families to forestry and communities.
In 1996 she facilitated the formation of the Kaslo and District Community Forest, and the awarding of a 15-year volume based tenure to a non-profit society, that migrated to a long term CFA in 2008. She participated in the creation of the BCCFA in 2002 and continues to be an enthusiastic student of community forestry. Susan lives in Kaslo, BC.
Manager of communications & outreach
With over a decade of experience working with land management and forestry organizations, Carly’s roles have ranged from field work and research, to eco-education and outreach, to graphic design and administrative support. She graduated with Honours from the Environmental Studies faculty at the University of Manitoba and also has a certificate in Communications Strategies for Resource Practitioners from the UBC Faculty of Forestry. Carly is passionate about her work in this sector, and is also a professional musician and published poet. She currently resides in the Kootenay region of BC and enjoys spending her time hiking and paddling.