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BC government approves Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement


July 17, 2019
By Ellen Cools
Ellen Cools

The B.C. government today announced that the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement has been approved.

According to a government news release, community forests are long-term, area-based tenures that aim to get the community involved in the management of local forests, while also creating economic opportunities and local jobs. They are managed by a local government, community group or First Nation for the benefit of the community.

Partners in the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement include the Fort Nelson First Nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. The agreement outlines an allowable annual cut (AAC) of 217,650 cubic metres per year from 191,571 hectares of Crown land, including a BC Timber Sales volume reservation of 32,650 cubic metres annually for the part of the land base within BC Timber Sales’ operating area.

In applying for the community forest agreement, the partners submitted a management plant for approval. This plan includes stand-level retention targets of 8.9 per cent for wildlife tree retention areas, ungulate winter ranges and consideration of the potential impact on caribou. Old growth retention targets are set to a minimum of 37 per cent in the Northern Boreal Mountains (6 per cent of the agreement area) and 17 per cent in the Boreal Plains (94 per cent of the agreement area).

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Several different types of forests will be maintained and distributed under the agreement, including coniferous stands, mixed-wood stands and deciduous stands. Of the 217,650 annual cubic metres in the AAC, only 118,000 cubic metres are allowed from coniferous stands, while the rest will come from deciduous stands.