Have you ever wondered what a community forest is? No doubt you have heard the acronym NACFOR used in and around Nakusp as they have been involved in a variety of community based projects and activities, but do you know who they are and what do they do?
Nakusp Community Forest (NACFOR) is a unique local company governed by a board of directors who, through generated funds, works within their mandate to promote community stability, ensure forest sustainability and stimulate community involvement in local forest management.
The company’s source of income is achieved through the harvest of an annual allowable cut of 20,000 cubic meters of tree species within their staked tenure.
NACFOR previously held a five year probationary license which was recently updated in 2011 by the Ministry of Forests and Natural Resource Operations to a 25-year tenure license for operating areas in Slewiskin (along MacDonald Creek) Fosthall, Galena Bay and along the Harlow, Kuskanax and Wensley Creeks.
The structure of NACFOR is such that the Village of Nakusp is the sole shareholder and owner of the company which ensures that the generated revenue is allocated to projects that fit within the company’s directive.
NACFOR hosted their annual open house on May 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Selkirk Collage to showcase the programs that have been undertaken and to present the upcoming granting process planned for the fall of 2014.
Members of NACFOR Board of Directors and management group were on hand to promote the working projects in the community forest and discuss their strategic goals and objectives.
Kathy Smith, president of the board of directors, stated that this was a unique opportunity for members of the community to meet with the directors and “talk in an open format about the past, present and future plans for NACFOR.”
The space at Selkirk Collage was packed full of displays describing the projects and initiatives the company is involved in. NACFOR is unique in that the focus is on working in the interests of the only shareholder, which makes the company accountable to the feedback of the community members.
Smith showed a schematic cut plan for the Fostall area that has been redrawn several times to avoid serious impact on the mushroom population that grows in the area. This sort of cooperation with local interests is a reflection of NACFOR’s commitment to community involvement in the harvesting plans and processes.
NAKFOR is also involved in several other initiatives including the expansion of the Jackrabbit Interpretive Trail as well as the production of brochures and signage to enhance the area already frequented by outdoor enthusiasts.
NACFOR also recently hosted the workshop, “Making Positive Change in the Local Forest Economy” which focused on creating a dialogue about land issues, wood supply and regional training opportunities.
The open house on Wednesday was attended by a record number of people and provided crucial feedback to the company.