Castlegar the site of forestry forum

Forestry community gathers at Selkirk to discuss community involvement in forest management

  • Dec. 9, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Castlegar's Selkirk College campus was the site of a productive forestry-related symposium

The Kootenay forestry community gathered on Thursday, Dec. 1 at Selkirk College Castlegar campus to discuss how the forest industry and communities can work together more effectively, as part of the province-wide Healthy Forests – Healthy Communities initiative.

About 60 people attended the dialogue, which was hosted by Selkirk College’s School of Environment and Geomatics, including students, forest industry professionals and members of the general public.

The event started out with a talk on the importance of communities in forest management by semi-retired registered professional forester (RPF) and Mayor of Kaslo, Greg Lay, and then moved on to a panel discussion by three people with plenty of on-the-ground experience in the industry: Brent Petrick an RPF for 10 years and small woodlot owner; Stan Hadikin, woodlands manager at Kalesnikoff Lumber and Jesper Neilsen, manager of the Nakusp Community Forest.

The panellists discussed big questions around the forest industry’s relationship to communities, such as: Why should the community be interested in forest management practices? Are communities currently involved in forest management? And, if not, what tools exist to facilitate community involvement in forest management?

While each panellist offered up his own perspectives on how to get communities involved in forest management, they generally agreed that residents of communities in the Kootenays have to be involved in their forests because forests play such significant roles in communities – both from an economic perspective and in terms of recreation and safety.

Suggestions for engaging communities in forest practices included more education, recognition of changing societal values and panels of community members who oversee forest practices, much as school board trustees oversee management of schools in the region.

As the forum moved on to small group discussions, education came to the forefront of many groups – specifically education about the forests and forest practices from an early age, so people will be more knowledgeable and aware of the forests around them and thus take a greater interest in forest management throughout their lives.

Shorter-term solutions proposed to get people engaged included: using technologies such as Google Earth that allow people to explore geographies at the click of a mouse; finding champions of forestry in communities who can draw people in and get them engaged; starting engagement on a neighbourhood level and tapping into local networks; putting out a constant message about forest management to the public, and garnering more government support, along with reduced institutional barriers for community engagement.

Just Posted

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Trail police seek to ID more loot recovered during weapons search

Trail RCMP recovered numerous weapons and stolen items after search at Fifth Avenue residence

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

The government had estimated that it was a $200-million a year operation, instead estimates now peg the problem at $1 billion annually

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Most Read