The Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake have been invited to apply together for a new community forest, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett announced today on behalf of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.
The community forest will have an allowable annual cut of 40,000 cubic metres and an initial term of 25 years. The exact location of the community forest area is still to be determined.
As well, now that the City of Williams Lake and the Williams Lake Indian Band have been invited to apply for the community forest, they need to submit a management plan to the ministry for approval before the community forest agreement can be issued.
Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA -
"Community forests are one way this government is diversifying the forest economy so communities can greater enjoy the economic benefits that forestry can bring. Since 2001, this government has issued 40 community forests around the province."
Kerry Cook, Mayor of Williams Lake -
"This is great news, and yet another example how partnerships are critical in improving our economy and moving our city and our region forward. We've been waiting eagerly for this announcement since we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Williams Lake Indian Band, which we did within weeks of this council being elected. This community forest agreement can only mean good things for the City of Williams Lake and the Williams Lake Indian Band.
Chief Ann Louie, Williams Lake Indian Band -
"The Williams Lake Band is happy to receive this invitation and is especially grateful for the support of MLA Donna Barnett and the City of Williams Lake for all their support in making this happen. We want to thank all who worked tirelessly towards this goal and look forward to partnering with the city on this joint community forest."
* Community forest agreements are a form of legal tenure that enable communities to more fully participate in the stewardship of local Crown forest resources.
* Community forests are area-based and give communities exclusive rights to harvest timber, as well as the opportunity to manage and profit from other forest resources such as botanical products, recreation, wildlife, water and scenic viewscapes.
* More than 50 community forests are operating or are in the planning stages in British Columbia.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
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