History of Community Forests
The foundation for the community forest agreement program was
developed by the Ministry of Forests and stakeholders interested in
creating opportunities for greater participation by communities and
First Nations in the management of local forests. This resulted in
the decision to create a community forest “pilot” program to test
the viability of community-based Crown tenures in B.C.
In July 1998, amendments to the Forest Act
came into force creating this new form of tenure.
In September 1998, the Ministry of Forests issued a Request for
Proposals, inviting communities throughout the province to apply for
a 5-year “pilot” community forest agreement. Twenty-seven
community-driven proposals were received.
Of the 27 proposals, seven communities were offered community forest
pilot agreements: Burns Lake Community Forest Ltd., Harrop-Procter
Watershed Protection Society Corp., Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community
Forest Society, North Island Woodlot Association, Islands Community
Stability Initiative, District of Fort St. James and Esketemc First
In October 2000, three additional community forest pilot
agreements were offered: Likely Community Forest Corp., Village of
McBride and Nuxalk First Nation.
On Dec. 4, 2000, the Community
Forest Agreement Regulation of the
Forest Practices Code
Act was made effective,
setting out forest practices specific to community forest
The Forest and Range Practices
Act (FRPA) was later introduced in November 2002. FRPA
introduced a “results-based” framework for planning and managing
In March 2003, the Minister introduced the Forestry Revitalization
Plan. A key component of the plan is timber reallocation – the
takeback of 20 per cent of long-term replaceable logging rights held
by major licensees to support a more diversified forest economy and
expand opportunities for uses such as community forests and
In July 2004, government deposited the
Community Tenures Regulation
under the Forest Act, which allows
the Minister to directly invite a community to apply for a
probationary community forest agreement, without competition. The
regulation also allows for the conversion of other tenures, such as
tree farm licences or forest licences, to probationary community
Probationary agreements, carrying a five-year initial term, would
allow both communities and the ministry an assessment period. If
successful, the agreement-holder could be offered a long-term
community forest agreement, which carries a 25-99 year term and is
replaceable every 10 years.
On March 31, 2009, the Forest Act
was amended to remove the "probationary" form of community forests
and provide for existing 5 year probationary agreements to
transition to 25 year Community Forest Agreements (CFAs).
CFAs are currently held by communities, community
partnerships and First Nations.
To date, 50 CFAs have been issued provincially.
A list of issued CFAs, as well as those currently invited and
awaiting issuance, can be viewed via the following link:
Community Forests Reports & Publications