Community Forests are intended to provide communities with opportunities to have more control over how local forests are managed and to receive community-directed benefits from forest development occurring in their area.
On Haida Gwaii the means to acquiring a Community Forest is a unique process which includes a tenure issued under the authority of the Council of the Haida Nation, as well as through the Province of BC under the Forest Act. The area-based forest tenure issued by the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD) is called a Community Forest Agreement (CFA).
This tenure is proposed by the Ministry to be very different than other community forests in BC. The tenure will be held by the Misty Isles Economic Development Society, which represents the Haida Gwaii communities that created it. The Forest Management Plan that is submitted to government would guide the operations on the entire tenure, including the 55,000 m3 AAC that the Ministry is requiring to be delivered by BCTS, where 50% of the revenue would go to the Misty Isles Economic Development Society and the communities that created it and 50% would go to Provincial revenue. The Forest Management Plan would also guide the operations by the Community Forest on the “unencumbered volume” estimated at 25,000 m3 AAC. Those two operations would have the potential to equal the 80,000m3 that the Ministry has estimated for the Haida Gwaii Community Forest Area Based Tenure.
As part of the Forest Management Plan, there will be a submission to the Ministry which utilizes the best available timber supply information and incorporates the choices made through public consultation. This submission may either propose the District Manager set the same AAC that government has estimated, or set a different one with additional information. These additional assumptions may be as a result of the upcoming Timber Supply Review and local choices about how the forest will be managed. In public consultations up to this date, there has been a strong voice of optimizing all values of the forests to the people of Haida Gwaii, rather than maximizing revenues.
British Columbia has proposed a Community Forest tenure for Haida Gwaii since 1996 both verbally and in written correspondence. It has been 21 years since the original commitment by the NDP government in 1996, to December 15, 2017, when current BC government to formally invite Haida Gwaii communities, through Misty Isles Economic Development Society, to apply for a Community Forest.
The Misty Isles Economic Development Society represents the communities in the development of a Community Forest Management Plan and the negotiations with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The communities are grateful for the support of the Council of the Haida Nation in seeking a Community Forest that will provide benefits and a measure of local control over forest management.
This website will allow anyone who is interested, to participate and follow us along the journey of developing and managing a Community Forest that is responsive and responsible to the people of Haida Gwaii.