Fort St. James Community Forest has been relatively inactive for a couple of years, as we were awaiting the closure of the Witch Lake expansion process. We have been working with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, BC Timber Sales, Major Licensees, Nak’azdli First Nation and several Keyoh holders to finalize the boundary areas and get the higher level plans in place. The process was a long one, but on November 15th, we got the news that the Boundary of the Fort St. James Community Forest had officially been changed to include the planning cells around Witch Lake. Thank you to everybody (Government, Licensees, First Nations and the District) who worked on this process and remained focused on the goal of expanding the Community Forest. Well done!
The Witch Lake expansion area straddles the height of land between Chuchi and Witch Lake and is accessed from the West by the Leo Creek FSR and from the East through the Germansen-Witch FSR. The new area includes approximately 9,000 hectares of expansion, of which 7,400 hectares is part of the Timber Harvesting Landbase (THLB). The long term allowable annual cut for the newly amended Community Forest, which includes all the planning cells, is modelled in the order of 45,000 cubic meters per year. The area was chosen primarily because of the long-term sustainable timber supply and uniqueness of the area with regard to cultural heritage and recreation values associated with the Nation Lakes system.
For more information, please see the Winter 2013 Community Forest Newsletter.