Cheakamus Community Forest
The Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) is one of over 50 community-managed forests in British Columbia. Community forests are different from other tenures because they are managed by the community, for the benefit of the community.
Download a presentation about Cheakamus Community Forest 2012 harvesting plans.
What is the Cheakamus Community Forest?
Situated on more than 30,000 hectares surrounding Whistler, the Cheakamus Community Forest was established in April of 2009, when the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) jointly signed a 25-year tenure with the provincial Ministry of Forests and Range. Together, these three equal partners oversee the management and operation of the forest under the auspices of the Cheakamus Community Forest Society, an independent not-for-profit organization.
The opportunity for this partnership, arose when the Ministry of Forests and Range (MOFR) announced that through the new Community Forest program, the timber harvest volume for Whistler was available for a new tenure, a term license that in this case would grant harvesting rights for a quarter century. Whistler and the neighbouring First Nations negotiated a partnership based on the common belief that the people of the region, not a private timber harvesting company, should benefit from the forest.
Guidelines for the management of the Cheakamus Community Forest
The CCF is a partnership between the RMOW, Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation that places forest harvesting decisions in local hands. The CCF actively works with local stakeholders to develop forest harvesting and management plans that benefit the larger community, such as protecting viewsheds, cultural assets, important habitats, and combining logging activities with trail building.
The CCF Society seeks continual input on each year’s harvesting plans from public and stakeholder groups such as commercial recreation operators and the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), to ensure that the plan works for the community and businesses that rely on the forest. This exchange did not occur when a private logging company controlled the tenure for the area.
Public consultation process:
The CCF Society reaches out to the community through open houses, newspaper articles, workshops, presentations, and site tours with local organizations such as the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), WORCA, and an extensive stakeholders’ email list.
Open houses are held in the spring and fall of each year to review proposed harvesting plans and work conducted in the previous season. As a community forest, it will be most successful when the public continues to share its priorities and concerns with the CCF.
For more information, visit www.cheakamuscommunityforest.com.
Whistler Forest History
Local foresters and long-time residents, Don MacLaurin, John Hammons and Peter Ackhurst, volunteered many hours since 2004 to compile the information for the Whistler Forest History Project. They received funding from the Community Foundation of Whistler and support from the Whistler Museum and Archives Society to complete the project. Full of fascinating historical photos and facts about how the area has changed over time, the Whistler Forest History Project video is a must-watch!