Wells Gray Community Forest

The Wells Gray Community Forest’s vision is to operate and manage a Community Forest Agreement License on a long term sustainable, environmental, and social plan that will maximize economic opportunities and benefits for the residents of Wells Gray Country and the District of Clearwater.

About This Project

The Wells Gray Community Forest is managed and owned on behalf of the citizens of Wells Gray Country. Extensive volunteer efforts have made the Wells Gray Community Forest a success to date. These volunteers reflect the values and ideas of the Citizens within Wells Gray Country. Public Involvement is essential to the long term viability of the Community Forest Operations.

In July 2006, the Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation (WGCFC) was awarded a provisional forest license and began to lay the foundation for managing the community forest landbase. In the first five years, the Corporation has harvested 167,000 cubic meters of wood, creating significant local employment and opportunities for local businesses in a very difficult economic period for the forest sector.

In 2009, WGCFC worked with the local Challengers group, sponsored by Yellowhead Community Services, to ensure our community and forestry recreation sites were maintained. The WGCFC held the contract that was funded through the Land Base Investment Strategy.

The Wells Gray Community Forest (2010) Society was established in 2010 to hold the shares of the WGCFC and to distribute funds on an annual basis. To date $269,900 has been approved to be distributed back into the community. A Non-Timber Products workshop was hosted by the WGCFC in 2010 and organized by past Board director Sharon Neufeld in conjunction with Royal Roads University. This project was a joint venture between the WGCFC, TNRD, Interior Savings Credit Union and the District of Clearwater (DOC).

In July 2011, WGCFC made the transition from a probationary licence into a long term Community Forest Licence with a 25 year term. The new licence will be up for replacement in 2036.

In 2011, a full phase forest development contract that provided the planning, harvesting, and road building required to develop and harvest a portion of the allowable cut was completed. 62 hectares within the community forest have been treated to reduce the risk of interface fire through fuel management contracts awarded to local contractors. This work was a joint venture between the WGCFC and the DOC. The project provided value added products such as cedar tops and pine poles to local small industries.

In the last two years the Board of Directors for the WGCFC has established key governing policies that guide the management of the Community Forest.

Recent and upcoming projects for the WGCFC include:

  • The Management Plan and 2012-2017 Forest Stewardship Plan have been submitted to the Ministry for review and approval;
  • 320 hectares and 420,000 seedlings to be planted in the next two years; -130,000m3 proposed for harvest over the next 4 years;
  • 10 kilometres of road upgrade and 5 kilometres of new roads are planned for 2013;
  • Continue with partnerships and working relationships with First Nations and other groups (Wells Gray Outdoor Club, District of Clearwater, BC Community Forest Assoc.); and,
  • Completion of an Archaeological Overview Assessment of the community forest in partnership with Simpcw First Nation

More Information Online

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