March 26, 2003 Ministry of Forests


Small- and medium-scale forestry operations help communities to diversify their local forest economies. Operations usually hire and buy supplies locally, offer logs to local manufacturers and practise innovative sustainable forest management.

Woodlots, originally created in 1948 to allow farmers to obtain small areas of Crown land to manage as farm woodlots, were later expanded to combine both private and public forest land. They are usually operated by families, individuals, First Nations or public corporations. Operators pay fees for the timber they cut on the public portion of their land. There are 850 woodlots in B.C. today.

Community forests, introduced 50 years later, are managed and logged by local governments, community groups, First Nations or specially formed community corporations. Revenues are used for local goals, including employment, forest-related education and skills training. These forests always include Crown land, and may involve private or band-reserve land. B.C. has several community forest pilots, ranging from 418 to 54,000 hectares. Some other communities hold tenures like woodlots, tree farm licences and non-replaceable forest licences.

Together, woodlots and community forest agreements account for about two per cent of the province’s annual harvest.

As part of its plan to revitalize the forest economy, the province will double the timber allocated to community-based forest tenures like woodlot licences and community forest pilot agreements.

Over the next few months, the government will consult with those involved about how the added timber should be allocated, and about how best to administer these types of tenure.

This allowable annual cut reallocation will open up opportunities for communities and individuals who want to use their forestry and business experience to manage forest resources in their area. It will also help communities diversify their forest economies and build on opportunities that will arise through other forest policy reforms.



Media contact:

Mike Hogan
Communications Director
250 387-8486