The Village of McBride, the Village of Valemount and the Community of Dunster each manage a community forest. Community Forest agreements provide communities with area-based tenures that allow for local participation in the stewardship of local Crown Forest resources. The Community Forests in the area have recently been involved in a collaborative pilot project called Bridges II, which is an economic development forum looking at opportunities for economic development opportunities along the McBride to Barriere corridor.
Community forests are managed to ensure social, ecological and economic sustainability. They also allow communities the opportunity to manage other values that they hold dear, including water, visual impact, wildlife and recreation. Community forests also allow communities to create income in support of the local community by providing resources for value added businesses and crafts people.
McBride Community Forest (MCFC)
The McBride Community Forest (MCFC) was established in 2002 when the Village was offered community Forest tenure. The Corporation is owned by the Village of McBride. MCFC has exclusive rights to harvest crown timber from approximately 60,000 hectares surrounding the community of McBride.
MCFC also maintains four summer recreation sites for residents and visitors and helps to maintain access to snowmobiling areas during the winter months. Income from the Community Forest was used to help build the McBride Community Hall and continues to support numerous projects within the Village.
Valemount Community Forest
The Valemount Community Forest (VCF) became an active company in 2008 and the Community Forest Agreement is owned by the Village of Valemount. VCF has exclusive rights to harvest crown timber from approximately 70,182 hectares adjacent to the community of Valemount. The Corporation has been highly successful. A log yard has been established to ensure consistent log supply for local manufacturers; high school bursary funds have been initiated, and a community grant program has been initiated through the VCF.
Dunster Community Forest
The Dunster Community Forest was established in 2009 and run by the Dunster Community Forest Society. The Dunster Community Forest covers a total of about 20,000 hectares and provides the Community Forest Society the right to harvest up to 15,000 cubic metres of timber per year.
The Dunster Community Forest Society is a community run organization which hopes to encourage small, community-based operations that will provide an income for local residents.