Community forests bring a unique perspective to the forest sector, a perspective informed by long-term stewardship of the land around around Indigenous and rural communities. Community forestry in BC grew out of a call from communities to do something different in the provincial forest close to their homes. In the late 90’s, rural and Indigenous communities wanted to have more local say in management of local forests. They asserted that the local forests were more than just a source of timber and they wanted to be empowered to determine how their values were managed on the land.
Community forest managers have adopted a stewardship approach to management of their tenures and recognize that forests are dynamic. They have learned that forests must be cared for and that if we want old forests, then the forest must be tended for those values. Community forests are actively managing for old growth, biodiversity and working to create more resilient ecosystems in the face of climate change. They are incorporating wildfire risk and community safety, forest health, watershed protection and cultural values as they make their plans for management of their tenures. They are putting an emphasis on active management of a suite of values, including jobs, to achieve balance on the land.
In this report you will find examples of how community forests are actively managing for old growth on the land around their communities.