A Community Forest for the Community
The focus of Concerned Citizens and Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) has been on protecting our drinking watersheds and the remaining natural and old growth forest. At the same time we are very much interested in the overall well being of our community. We feel that a Community Forest, if truly based in the community, could be an important component of a healthy local economy.
We recognize and acknowledge that all activities of the SCCF are conducted on Sechelt First Nation Traditional Territory. The Joint Watershed Management Agreement is an example of how the Community Forest should be managed in partnership with the Sechelt First Nation.
Concerned Citizens and ELF are prepared to take part in discussions of how we can turn the Community Forest into an environmentally sound and economically viable asset for the Sunshine Coast based on the following basic principles:
1. No part of the community forest license area shall be located in the community watershed reserves such as Chapman and Gray Creeks.
2. Community Forest tenure areas removed out of Chapman and Grey creek watersheds cannot be replaced with areas of old growth forest or other sensitive sites such as those identified in the report on “Environmentally important sites and streams on the Sunshine Coast”.
3. The primary purpose of the Community Forest is to supply wood for local construction, woodworking and value added timber products. The CF will use eco-based forest management practices in the extraction of their timber. The main goal of the CF is to encourage the manufacture of local wood based finished products. In order to achieve this goal, it will be necessary for the Community Forest to engage business entrepreneurs in the community. The combined efforts of these businesses would establish the “value added” segment of the CF operations. In the event of any missing component, the CF should attempt to fill this gap by investing its own resources in the value added marketplace.
4. An open and transparent governance structure to be put in place by the CF that will provide the necessary framework whereby all the various stakeholders and residents of the Sunshine Coast will have input to the CF, including public involvement in the appointment of CF Directors.
We look forward to hearing from the District of Sechelt