A Brief History:

Early in 1996, the British Columbia Ministry of Forests designated a Non-replaceable Forest Licence within Kaslo and Regional District Area D. This new forestry opportunity was part of a re-allocation of the timber reserve in the Kootenay Lake Forest District. At a community meeting, the multi-sectoral community-based resource advisory group, the Kaslo and Area Round Table (KART) was asked to proceed with a unified application for a community forest that would benefit Kaslo and the surrounding area.

KART subsequently set up a broadly representative Planning Committee. The goal of the Planning Committee was to produce a governance model for the fledgling community forest society that would contribute to the sustainability of the community and its resources. Their desire was to include the interests of the community and ensure greater community control.

The operating model which was created was the result of a consensus-based process of multi-sectoral public consultation which was recognized with an FRBC Community Excellence Award for 1997.

The Forest Licensee:

The Kaslo and District Community Forest Society is a registered BC not-for-profit organization, incorporated in May 1996. Its purpose is to hold and manage the Community Forest Licence on behalf of, and with direction from, the people of the Kaslo/North Kootenay Lake community.

The Society is composed of a nine-member Board, including two appointees of local government (Kaslo Village and Regional District of Central Kootenay), and seven directors elected by the membership.

The First Forest Licence:

The Society began with a15 year, Non-Replaceable Forest Licence with an Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) of 10,000 cubic metres of timber. As a requirement of the licence, all activities on the chart area must be in accordance with relevant provincial and regional acts and regulations.

The original operating area was 6,100 hectares, located adjacent to the Village of Kaslo. The area covered from Schroeder Creek south to the Kaslo River, Blue Ridge east to Kootenay Lake, the Kemp Creek watershed, Mount Buchanan from Kaslo west to Seven Mile Creek, and northern portions of True Blue Mountain.

Since its inception, the KDCFS has lobbied the government to provide it with an opportunity to convert its existing tenure to a long-term tenure.  In August 2004, the government responded with enabling legislation and an invitation for KDCFS to apply for a probationary community forest agreement.  In January 2006, the government provided the essential ingredients for the KDCFS to prepare an application:  it specified the AAC for the new licence area (an AAC of up to 25,000 m3), and it provided the KDCFS with the application particulars.

In August 2006 the Society applied for a Probationary Community Forest Agreement (click to view). With some minor amendments to the application, the PCFA was granted to the Society in 2008. The Kaslo & District Community Forest Society signed on to a new type of forest licence (Community Forest Agreement K3C) that is area-based, which means that KDCFS has the exclusive rights to harvest timber within its designated chart area, and agrees to assume all of the obligations for the sustainability of this land specified in the Agreement and described in the statements of the Forest Stewardship Plan: Click Here to View FSP Documents The AAC for the new Agreement is 25,000 cubic metres a year. This is measured in 5 year periods, called Cut Control. In January 2013 the Society embarked on its second 5 year cut control. To view the chart area of the timber lands the community forest has under tenure simply click the link: FSP Map

The Forest:

The forest is located in the Kootenay Lake Timber Supply Area (TSA). The TSA encompasses approximately 1.13 million hectares of land and is bound by the Purcell Mountain Range on the east and the Selkirk Mountain Range on the west. The TSA includes both moist and wet climatic regions and is commonly referred to as the ‘Interior Wet Belt’. A portion of the Community Forest falls in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock (ICH) zone, which has the greatest tree diversity of all the zones in BC Ecosystems in the community forest vary from low elevation Fir-Cedar-Hemlock forest at lakeside to alpine Spruce-Balsam types higher up.

The Kootenay Lake TSA supports a great diversity of wildlife. Seventy percent of the bird species known to occur in B.C. and 62% of bird species which breed in the province are known to exist in the Kootenay Lake area. The TSA supports several species of wild ungulate, as well as large mammals such as cougar, wolf, and black and grizzly bear. Five red-listed, endangered or threatened animal species are found in the TSA: Townsend big-eared bat; canyon wren; common poorwill; Forster’s tern; and prairie falcon. Blue-listed, sensitive or vulnerable species include five mammals and 23 bird species. Of the blue-listed species, several require old-growth forest conditions such as large, dead trees or coarse woody debris.

The area’s combined accessibility and relatively undisturbed natural quality make the area highly desirable and well-used for wildlife viewing and recreational hiking and skiing. The area also supports significant levels of recreational hunting and angling. The important biodiversity, water quality and scenic values combine to create a complex system from the point of view of management.