Expanding Our Roots
Woodlots Add Value to BC
Lisa Marak-Federation of BC Woodlot Associations
There is a small but well organized group of Crown forest managers who have consistently demonstrated their ability to adjust their forestry practices to meet many challenges. These are the more than 800 woodlot licensees in the province who manage a small but significant piece of the provincial harvest.
Compared to other forest tenures, woodlot licenses are a unique tenure. Many woodlots are in the interface between forests and urban or industrial areas. Woodlots often have recreational uses such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are usually many eyes watching the operations on woodlots, yet there are few complaints to the Forest Practices Board.
The diversity found in the many forest ecosystems in this diverse province is reflected in the woodlot licensees. Many are ranchers or farmers whose woodlots are adjacent to or near their private lands, their family homes and communities. Numerous woodlots are purposely intergenerational. This alone ensures excellent stewardship.
These intensively managed, family operated tenures provide several valuable contributions to the BC: forest and ecosystem diversity and resilience, communities and social benefits, a light footprint on the landscape, and a sizeable and positive involvement in the province’s economy — approximately $200 million annually.
Woodlots licences are often located close to communities and schools and offer forestry learning opportunities nearby. The Federation of BC Woodlot Associations has developed an educational program for BC students, including a DVD, lesson plan, curricular connections and contact list for woodlot tours in local forest districts.
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