The SCCA has been an active supporter of community forestry for the Sunshine Coast since its inception in 1997. Our former director Dr. Colin Campbell, for example, was very involved with the Sunshine Coast Regional District in 2001 in promoting the idea of a community forest. This initiative was not successful largely because of a lack of support from the Ministry of Forests.
In 2003, a new “community forest” initiative was undertaken by the District of Sechelt. This time it was undertaken, not as a Sunshine Coast wide community-based venture, but as a business venture that would provide economic benefit to the community of the District of Sechelt. This initiative was successful and received its forest license on May 31, 2006.
The full story of how the District of Sechelt’s succeeded in getting a probationary forest license is controversial and has involved strenuous opposition from local conservation and community based organizations, and other local municipalities, including the Sunshine Coast Regional District, the Town of Gibsons, and the Sechelt Indian Government.
The reasons for this opposition stem from the refusal of the District of Sechelt to undertake any meaningful consultation, and their insistence on inclusion of our primary community drinking watersheds in the community forest landbase. The Chapman and Gray Watershed Reserves have a long history of damage from logging activity.