Terrace Community Forest helps community

A healthier woods industry is increasing the profitability of the City of Terrace-owned Terrace Community Forest.

A HEALTHIER woods industry is increasing the profitability of the City of Terrace-owned Terrace Community Forest.

And that means more support for community projects, says its general manager.

At least $100,000. Even more,” says Kim Haworth of the projected amount to be awarded to qualifying groups or projects.

That would be a substantial leap over the $30,000 awarded last year, he says.

Half of the $30,000 – $15,000 – went to the My Mountain Co-op which now owns Shames Mountain, $10,000 to the Terrace Community Foundation and $5,000 to the Terrace Off-Road Cycling Association.

The idea of turning profits over to community groups and projects was one of the underlining foundations developed by the city when it seized upon the idea of creating a community forest company in 2006.

It was granted an area-based tenure consisting of an annual allowable cut of 30,000 cubic metres a year over five years.

The wood came from a 20 per cent clawback applied to large licence holders.

We wanted an area-based tenure because we knew it was second growth [planting] and second growth was where the future was going to be,” said Haworth. “To me it just made more sense over the long term.”

When we build road, we build it to last because it is in an area tenure and now that road is an asset so it make sense to maintain it.”

The licence was effective as of 2007 for a probationary five-year period with an option to apply for a 25-year term.

The city helped establish the community forest as a business entity through $150,000 in seed money.

Haworth says the first years were difficult. A slump in the industry closed sawmills and reduced export opportunities.

The community forest had trouble meeting its annual allowable cut quota.

Market conditions were so poor active logging using contractors did not start until late 2010.

Since then, however, market conditions have improved and the community forest is selling to domestic as well as overseas customers.

We’ve now cut 73,000 cubic metres and have generated approximately $3.5 million [in economic activity,]” said Haworth.

What old growth that was cut was primarily sold to Skeena Sawmills as second growth wasn’t as easily cut by the mill’s saws.

So it was old growth to Skeena Sawmills and second growth overseas,” explained Haworth of the community forest’s basic client base.

The community forest was in the end successful in obtaining a 25-year licence.

Recent work saw it in a stand of replanted 1972 Sitka spruce affected by a weevil which worked to stunt tree growth.

It was stagnant. A monoculture and wasn’t contributing from a volume perspective. They were short trees and tight together,” said Haworth.

Replanting with a mixture – hemlock, cedar, balsam and spruce – makes for a more natural and healthy forest.

As far as finances go, Haworth’s particularly pleased that the community forest has repaid the city the $150,000 provided to help it get established.

And, he notes, the community forest’s contribution of $10,000 to the Terrace Community Foundation last year is helping meet a long term goal of establishing that agency as a grant-giving body using interest from invested capital.

Applications for Terrace Community Forest grants are assessed by two city council members and two from the community forest board.