Please click on each of the topics below to view, or scroll down to read them all.
- Partnership – Williams Lake Indian Band & City of Williams Lake
- Community Values
- Community Forest Planning
- Education & Research
- Resource Management
- Public Input
- Corporate Structure & Governance
- Standing Committee on Resource Values and Interests
- Sale of Logs, Timber & Other Products
- Non-Timber and Other Forest Products
- Contractor Services
- Funding of Licensee Obligations
- Disposition of Net Income
- Benefits to the Williams Lake Indian Band, City of Williams Lake & Neighboring Communities
- Reporting to the Public
- Roads & Road Use
- Program Funding
- Access to the Community Forest by Outside Business Interests
- Area Selection
Partnership – Williams Lake Indian Band & City of Williams Lake
The Williams Lake Community Forest is a partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band and City of Williams Lake and will be managed within the spirit and intent of their Letter of Understanding (LOU) dated January 13, 2009.
The Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake recognize and will respect the social (cultural and spiritual), environmental and economic importance of the Community Forest to neighboring communities. These values will be addressed in the Management Plan (MP) and Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP).
Community Forest Planning
A Management Plan1 and Forest Stewardship Plan2 will guide activities within the Community Forest. They will take into account higher level plans such as the Cariboo Chilcotin Land Use Plan as well as all applicable legislation and regulations. The plans will be subject to public review and comment. Planning is the principal process by which resource conflicts will be avoided.
The District Manager must approve Management and Forest Stewardship Plans. The Community Forest will consult with First Nations, resource tenure holders, community members and local governments, soliciting comments, before submitting the plans for approval. The product of joint planning will be included into these documents and subjected to review and comment from all of these interests and from government agencies.
Education & Research
The Williams Lake Community Forest will provide a wide range of learning opportunities for community residents and others, including public education, school groups, work experience, technical training and capacity building for First Nations communities. Educational information will be accessible to anyone who is interested, and will be presented in understandable language in various media.
Corporate Structure & Governance
A limited partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake will hold the Community Forest Agreement. The WLCF General Partner Ltd., which will be formed by the two limited partners, will conduct the business of the Community Forest.
The General Partner has a Board of Directors consisting of three directors appointed by each of the limited partners. It will, from time to time, appoint a manager to manage and administer the CFA consistent will direction provided by the Board of Directors. The General Partner will also create a Standing Committee to provide recommendations to the Board of Directors.
Standing Committee on Resource Values and Interests
The Standing Committee on Resource Values and Interests will be comprised of community members representing the interests of adjacent or neighbouring communities and licensed resource users. The committee will make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding strategic and operational planning and implementation. It will also provide feedback on the quality of work and impact of Community Forest activities on the land base. Finally, the Standing Committee will ensure effective distribution of grant program funds provided by the General Partner.
Sale of Logs, Timber & Other Products
The Williams Lake Community Forest will sell all logs, timber, wood waste and other products at fair market value.
Timber, waste and other products may be made available to local businesses (mills and manufacturers, particularly value added manufacturers) in order to help build a stronger forest sector in the community and region. The intent is that the Williams Lake Community Forest will NOT subsidize any business or enterprise.
Non-Timber and Other Forest Products
The Community Forest application may include a request to be granted the rights to manage and sell non-timber forest products (NTFP) for commercial purposes. NTFPs are such things as botanicals, boughs and floral greens, mushrooms, etc. This right would not preclude people from gathering and using NTFPs for personal use.
If these rights are granted, the Williams Lake Community Forest intends to optimize the harvest of NTFPs from the community forest; i.e. manage for a balance between timber and non-timber products while upholding the principles of sustainable management. The productivity of these resources may actually be improved as a result of the style of management used on the Community Forest.
The Williams Lake Community Forest believes the harvest and utilization of NTFPs and other products will be an opportunity for private sector businesses.
Contract work will be advertised and awarded to eligible contractors by a ranking system to be determined under Board of Directors Policy. Local contractors will have a competitive advantage given their close proximity to the work. At a minimum, the eligibility criteria will include qualified companies holding appropriate certifications and a proven track record for delivering the type of work required on time and to an above-average standard.
A preliminary list of the services that will normally be contracted out is as follows:
Funding of Licensee Obligations
Community Forest Agreement holders, like other forest tenure holders in BC, incur certain obligations with respect to their operations such as reforestation, road maintenance and debris disposal to name a few. The costs associated with these obligations are most often incurred years after the actual operation took place.
Typically, in BC, a licensee will employ one of two methods of accounting to ensure sufficient funding to pay for these obligations is available in the future. One is to retain cash reserves to pay for future costs and the other is to accrue the liabilities (which effectively reduces the value of a company by the amount of the future costs).
The Williams Lake Community Forest proposes to retain funds consistent with a ledger of expected future costs. The ledger will give a realistic estimate of future expenses based upon experienced costs to maintain roads, dispose of debris, reforest, achieve free-growing forests, etc. Retained funds will be invested in a low-risk instrument that protects the fund from loss.
Disposition of Net Income
Net income will be distributed in equal shares to the Williams Lake Indian Band & City of Williams Lake. Each community will decide on how to invest or use these funds.
Benefits to the Williams Lake Indian Band, City of Williams Lake & Neighboring Communities
The Williams Lake Community Forest will create economic, social and environmental benefits for residents of Williams Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band and neighboring communities.
- A Standing Committee of the Board of Directors will be formed to provide a forum for residents, communities and resource users, and make recommendations on the management of the Community Forest
- Purchase of goods and services from local suppliers;
- Contract work will be advertised and awarded to eligible contractors by a ranking system to be determined under Board of Directors Policy. Local contractors will have a competitive advantage given their close proximity to the work;
- Timber being milled, manufactured and re-manufactured by local businesses, particularly value‐added manufacturers, in order to help build a stronger forest sector in the communities and region; and
- Community values incorporated into resource management plans and practices
- Annually the Williams Lake Community Forest will contribute 5% of its net profit to a grant program to be made available to neighboring communities and community groups for worthwhile projects. Distribution will be based on the guidance of the Standing Committee.
Reporting to the Public
The Williams Lake Community Forest will produce an Annual Report and make it available to the public. The report will include statistics relevant to Community Forest operations such as harvest volumes and financial information in addition to describing the year’s activities and accomplishments.
Periodically, based on the level of interest and demand, the Williams Lake Community Forest will host a ‘Community Forest Day’ so local and neighboring residents can enjoy a tour, ask questions and learn about their Community Forest.
Roads & Road Use
Except where necessary, for reasons of safety and/or environmental protection, roads on the community forest will be open for public use.
Industrial use of roads will be subject to negotiation and agreement between the Community Forest and the company wanting to use the road.
The Williams Lake Community Forest will comply with all applicable worker safety legislation, regulations and requirements.
Public safety will be treated as a high priority. To that end, the public’s understanding will be required when access to or use of Community Forest areas is restricted for safety reasons.
The Williams Lake Community Forest will pursue grant and program funding as opportunities occur. When successful, program and project delivery will be as per the Community Forest’s business practice re: contracting services unless the program’s requirements dictate otherwise.
Access to the Community Forest by Outside Business Interests
Business and/or commercial use of Community Forest areas are subject to BC laws and regulations. The Williams Lake Community Forest will acknowledge and respect the rights of other licensees and permittees to use Community Forest areas for specific uses. It will also respect the public’s right of access to crown land subject to safety and other considerations.
The Williams Lake Community Forest will not be available to non-authorized, outside business interests. Unauthorized use of crown land will be reported to the proper authorities.
The Williams Lake Indian Band & City of Williams Lake selected two blocks (see map) that constitute a viable working forest and were:
- Sustainable in terms of its forests (species and age class distribution);
- Economically sustainable in terms of species, wood quality, operating and transportation costs; and
Other considerations included community values, proximity to both communities, traditional territory, and areas which were representative of values on the landscape such as ungulate winter ranges, old growth management areas, etc.