Attendees gather for BCCFA’s 16th annual conference and AGM
Delegates are arriving at the Fraser River Valley community of Mission for the B.C. Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) 16th conference and AGM. The annual event takes place on the unceeded, ancestral and shared territory of the Sto:lo People and the Kwantlen, Leq’a:mel, Matsqui and Sq’éwlets territories. The host community organization is the Mission Municipal Forest where community management of the forest has been in place since 1958.
Preparing to welcome delegates from community forests representing nearly 90 B.C. First Nations and non-Indigenous, rural communities, BCCFA President, George Brcko said, “The BCCFA conference is where community organizers, government staff and elected officials, managers, and researchers gather to network, share stories and learn about government priorities and new initiatives. There are many excellent examples of how community-based tenures invest in forest stewardship, in community protection from wildfire, in partnerships with First Nations, and in creating local benefits for communities in recreational development – helping to diversify local economies. As British Columbians discuss changes to renew the forest sector, we need look no further than community forests.”
Delegates look forward to hearing from Diane Nicholls, Chief Forester, as she reports on the plans and process to improve forest practices in B.C., and to Chris Stagg, Assistant Deputy Minister of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, who will announce the 2019 Robin Hood Memorial Award for Excellence in Community Forestry. Additional sessions will include a focus on First Nations reconciliation and disaster management in the face of the unprecedented wildfires in the past few years.
The annual event runs from June 12-14. For more information on the conference and the BCCFA visit www.bccfa.ca