From the Powell River Peak
On January 24, Powell River Community Forest Ltd. released its 2019 Annual Report to the Community as a four-page supplement in the Powell River Peak. The report can also be found on the PRCF website.
The PRCF is an independent corporation set up by City of Powell River. It holds the Community Forest Agreement on behalf of the entire community. It is a for-profit forest company; what sets it apart, however, is that it invests 100 per cent of its profits in the community.
At the start of 2019, the corporation knew it would be a challenging year for the coastal forest sector.
With failing market conditions, high stumpage rates and the provincial government’s forest policy changes, a number of major forest companies were reacting by curtailing operations.
Coming off a record 2018 profit, the PRCF made significant investments in its road and bridge infrastructure, including re-surfacing much of its existing main roads and constructing a number of new spur roads. These projects give PRCF more flexibility to react to changing markets.
It also adjusted its development plans to undertake additional harvesting, in part to provide much needed short-term work for local forestry contractors impacted by the Western Forest Products shutdown and to provide cedar log supply to Lois Lumber sawmill.
“Our over-riding objective is high-quality, sustainable forest practices,” says PRCF president Greg Hemphill. “Part of our mandate is also to provide direct economic benefits from the forest development.”
In 2019, the PRCF put $2.3 million into the Powell River economy through contracts and supply purchases from local companies. Its profits are reinvested back in the community through community grants. An estimated 2019 profit of $2.8 million will help the PRCF continue to support various community group and local government projects.
The application review process for spring 2020 grants is at the end of March. New applications, or updates to existing applications can be made at any time. Information about the application process and evaluation criteria can found on its website: www.prcommunityforest.ca.