The Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation has taken top spot in 2019 for community forests, winning a community forestry award along with a $10,000 grant.
Established in 2016, the Robin Hood Memorial Award for Excellence in Community Forestry and accompanying grant are given annually to the community forest that best exemplifies the values exhibited by the late Robin Hood - a British Columbia community forest pioneer - and the B.C. community forest program. These values include innovation and leadership in land management, building and maintaining social license and involvement with the local community and First Nations, and providing social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits to the local community and First Nations.
"Local governments, community groups and First Nations manage community forests for the benefit of the entire communities where they are located," said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. "Logan Lake Community Forest continues to exemplify the values of the program, and of Robin Hood, by looking for new ways to diversify economic interests, improve stewardship practices and provide benefits to Logan Lake residents and area First Nations."
Approximately 260,000 cubic metres of fibre have been harvested under the community forest's tenure, with more than $3 million of the revenue being directed back into the District of Logan Lake and its citizens through more than 40 different community groups and initiatives.
The Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation is also a leader in wildfire mitigation for community interface areas, having completed extensive fuel management that contributed to Logan Lake being recognized as Canada's first FireSmart community by FireSmart Canada. As of 2018, it has also completed a 10-year, landscape-level wildfire risk management plan for the entire community forest tenure area.
The corporation also hires high school students through its Youth FireSmart Team program, in collaboration with the District of Logan Lake and the Logan Lake Wellness, Health & Youth Society. The program educates the students and gives them hands-on skills in spacing, pruning, piling woody debris, tree and plant identification, wildfire behaviour and biodiversity. It also includes discussions on career paths and university applications.
* The Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation:
* performs joint planning with local recreation groups and was able to complete maintenance and construction of approximately 19 kilometres of ATV trails in 2018, following widespread community involvement and engagement;
* holds an annual community open house that is attended by 50 to 100 residents;
* has awarded $3,000 in annual bursaries since 2017 to Logan Lake Secondary school graduates;
* reforested more than 400 hectares with roughly 503,000 seedlings in 2018, which was within two years of harvest;
* has a goal of zero burning for waste wood and has researched areas for greater fibre use; and
* has provided saw-training opportunities for BC Wildfire Service staff working out of the Kamloops Fire Centre.
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