News & Updates
Posted February 7, 2018
Harvesting operations in the Green Mountain Operating Area of the Cortes Community Forest are planned to get under way in late March of this year. The harvest block is called GM1 and you can download maps, a project summary, and detailed engineering report of the proposed project here:
There will be another public tour of the area on Sunday March 18 at 10am. People can meet at the entrance to to Jimmy Smith Way (road to the gravel pit and Carrington Lagoon). Any questions or comments can be emailed to the manager or CFGP board co-chairs via the contact page, or contact the manager by phone at 250.202.1509.
Ongoing silviculture work is also being planned for late March in the Larsens Meadow and Squirrel Cove Operating Areas. A regeneration survey of block LAR 1- 5, & SQ 1-5 is scheduled for February 17/18, which will provide the CFGP staff with the necessary information required to prepare site specific prescriptions for each regenerating block.
The CFGP has up to 4,000 additional seedlings available for fill planting where needed due to extensive deer browse of the Douglas Fir in LAR 3-5, and to complete the remaining section of SQ2. The CFGP will likely install protection for all of the new seedlings, and discussions under way regarding the possibility of using page wire rather than the white plastic cones as a pilot project.
Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities to help with this ongoing silviculture work.
The CFGP has prepared a draft five year plan that outlines projected operations for the second five year cut control period in the Cortes Community Forest which began on January 1, 2018.
The draft plan is available here:
This is intended to be a living document that will evolve over time as more detailed engineering and planning work is completed in each area, and throughout the community forest land base.
Posted November 14, 2017
The CFGP will host a public tour of the proposed harvest in the Green Mountain Operating Area on Saturday December 2nd at 10am. People can meet at the entrance to the gravel pit and Jimmy Smith Way off Whaletown Road across from the log dump.
You can download maps, a project summary, and detailed engineering report for the proposed project here:
If you have any questions please contact Mark Lombard at 250.202.1509
Posted October 5, 2017
The CFGP has undertaken an extensive community consultation process in regards to developing access to the Carrington Operating Area of the community forest. The proposed development involves the construction of approximately 550 meters of new logging road which will provide long term access to the operating area off Coulter Bay Road.
The consultation process consisted of two well attended public tours during the summer, followed by a public meeting at the Gorge Hall with the CFGP board and staff. CFGP representatives also attended a meeting with neighbours to address specific local issues and responded in writing to their questions.
Some of the common themes include: noise and visual quality, tourism values, stream crossing and riparian management concerns, and the distribution of benefits.
The CFGP has taken in a lot of feedback and is working to incorporate local knowledge of the area into the planning process. A professional assessment of the stream crossing is available here:
Regarding timing, the project is now entering the permitting phase. This involves applying for road permits from the Ministries of Transportation, as well as Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Given that the window for building road during the dry fall season is closing, construction is projected to get underway in the fall of 2018. The plan is to have the falling, log handling, and construction of the sub-grade begin in early September of 2018, and is expected to take approximately two months.
Weather and conditions permitting, the CFGP will include a small preliminary harvest of up to 1,000 m3 along with the road construction. This will be done primarily to avoid a situation where there is no supply of logs for local mills, as well as to provide enough volume to sell the lower grade logs from the road construction off of Cortes rather than being stored over the winter.
A map of the proposed new road and harvest area (CAR 1) are available here:
Posted September 16, 2017
The CFGP hosted a third community consultation meeting at the Gorge Hall on Monday Sept 11 regarding the proposed new road into the Carrington Operating Area. During the meeting the CFGP also presented a plan outlining projected harvest, access, and enhanced silviculture projects for the next five years.
The presentation is available here:
The accompanying maps are available here:
During the course of the community consultation process the CFGP heard extensive feedback covering a wide range of issues and is working to integrate these into the planning process.
The CFGP will continue working with the neighbours in the Talbot Way and Coulter Bay Road area in order to ensure the best possible outcomes as the project moves forward.
Posted September 2, 2017
There will be a community meeting hosted by the Cortes Forestry General Partnership on Monday September 11 at 7pm at the Gorge Hall.
The meeting is part of the ongoing community consultation and discussion of the proposed new road into the Carrington Operating area.
The CFGP will also present an initial draft of a five year development plan showing areas that are under consideration for operations over the next five years.
Posted August 27, 2017
What is the CFGP?
The Cortes Forestry General Partnership is a 50/50 partnership between the Klahoose First Nation and the Cortes Community Forest Cooperative.
The CFGP exists because the Klahoose First Nation decided to work together with the non- aboriginal island community to manage the “Crown Land” forests on Cortes Island. Klahoose FN formed a partnership with Cortes Community Forestry Cooperative, and the partnership received the license from the Ministry of Forests in August 2013. The CFGP engaged with the community to create the Community Forest Operation Plan (CFOP) in early 2014, and has been in active forestry operations since September 2014.
Who is on the board of the CFGP?
The board is made of 6 people, three representatives (appointed by Chief and Council) from Klahoose and three representatives (elected by the CCFC board) from the Co-op. Together, as volunteers, these six people oversee the community forest governance, policy, and strategic direction.
Kathy Francis (co-chair)
Corry Dow (secretary)
Georgina Silby (co-chair)
Who are the staff?
The core team consists of an operations manager, engineer, and a consulting RPF. Both the manager, Mark Lombard, and the RPF, Ione Brown are new to the team this year. Matt Cuscianna has been working as the engineer since 2015. We also employ a mapping consultant, a book-keeper, and other professionals such a biological consultant as needed.
We also hire contractors for all aspects of forest operations including silviculture, falling, yarding, scaling, hauling, and roadbuilding.
Where exactly is our Cortes Community Forest tenure?
We are operating in unceded traditional territory of the Klahoose First Nation. Cortes is also traditional territory for the Sliammon and Homalco First Nations. Our tenure for the Cortes Community Forest spans different regions around the island, including the “Carrington” operating area. Detailed maps are available on our website for interested people to study.
What is the fall plan?
We are proposing that this fall we develop access into the Carrington Operating Area. Despite the shared name, the area where the new road is to be located is over 2km away from the park, lagoon, or bay. Specifically we are looking to build 500m of road into the NE corners of Section 37. The right of way will range from 20 to 25 meters wide along the route, while the subgrade road itself being approximately 5 to 6 meters wide.
This road will provide access to a high quality stand of older rotation forest, which is a long stated goal for our community forest. There will be around 300 cubic meters of mostly lower grade logs that come from the right of way. We would like to build the road now so that it has time to set up and be ready to use for use in the future.
What is the Community Forest Operating Plan ?
The CFOP is a community based planning document created in 2014 to allow the Cortes Island Community to express its goals for the community forest. This document is up for review in 2018.
FIVE YEAR PLAN
The CFGP is working on preparing a draft map of the 5 year plan ready to share with the community early this fall.
The 5-year plan will show the areas where the CFGP is considering developing access to, and logging in, over the next five years.
The five-year plan is something that has been in the works for over a year and is intended to give the community, contractors, and value added producers an opportunity to see what the next five years might look like.
The Carrington Project that is currently being considered is one of several that are part of the five year plan. There are only a limited number of places within the community forest that are accessible, and figuring out the best way to access the land base is an ongoing process.
LONG TERM FORESTRY BUSINESS
As a long term forestry business, the CFGP has a core mandate to sustainably manage the forest in a way that provides a consistent supply of high quality logs to local buyers.
Given that the community forest is still a very new business and the local value added sector is not yet equipped with the capacity to use smaller logs, cedar butt logs with a lot of rot, and off species logs, there is a need in the short term to to sell a limited number of logs off island to other buyers.
The CFGP has yearly costs for staff, consulting professionals, rent for the land base, and many other miscellaneous costs that have to be paid regardless of whether any logs are sold. As a business the CFGP does need to sell logs every year to both pay for it’s own operating expenses, and also to supply our local mills.
Most of the small carpentry and construction businesses on Cortes are already using at least some community forest lumber and this is growing. The logs supplied by the community forest provide employment for several mills, carpenters, and other wood workers on the Island.
Over the longer term, the CFGP will be working to harvest and grow timber in the areas of the community forest where it makes the most sense, both ecologically, and economically.
Care will always be taken to respect other values such as tourism and recreation, and the CFGP values the role of our forests in fostering a healthy community for residents and visitors alike.
NEW ROAD BUILDING
In order to access the community forest land base, the CFGP must work with a wide range of landowners whose land border on the community forest. In some cases there are existing roads that may be shared, and in some cases the CFGP will need to build new roads.
The CFGP recognizes that building road is a high impact activity and that a lighter touch approach can require less road building. That said, we need to find a balance as there are limitations to what can be done without building any new roads.
The area where the CFGP is proposing to operate is far enough from the existing trails and popular recreation areas around Carrington that these areas will not be impacted in any serious or long term manner.
The area being considered for the new road is the only access point to this entire area of the community forest, and is one of the only areas that is feasible to work in during the near term. FUTURE
The area that this road will provide access to is one of the best examples of the longer (100+ year) rotation cycles that the community forest wishes to work with.
Once the new road is built and has had some time to set up, the CFGP will work on two selective harvest projects in the area accessed by the road. There are significant variations in the terrain, forest health, and timber quality, and therefore the harvest technique will vary based on these factors, as well as the distance from the road.
Where the soil is moist and sensitive to rubber tire machinery, the focus will be on using a tracked machine to do selective logging. In areas that are further from the road rubber tire skidder will be used during dry season to forward logs to the road in order to reduce the amount of road that needs to be built.
There are also several patches of diseased hemlock that are in need of rehabilitation and that would benefit from logging to make way for new healthy trees to grow. In it’s planning the CFGP is always looking for opportunities to tie in rehab projects with it’s broader harvest activities in order to pay for the rehab.
The CFGP will continue to update it’s plans as the public consultation process moves forward and that input is integrated with the planning.
Posted August 17, 2017
Site Tours and Public Consultation Dates for Upcoming Operations:
The CFGP would like to move forward with developing access to the Carrington Operating area and the westernmost block of the Community Forest. This will involved constructing approximately 500 meters of new logging road off Coulter Bay Road and starting approximately 50 meters past the parking lot at the entrance to the old road into Carrington.
Due to limited local demand for logs this fall the CFGP will not be logging any volume beyond the logs that will come from the right of way.
Any local buyers looking to buy logs from the right of way wood can contact the CFGP about purchase opportunities this fall. This could be sawlogs or firewood for next year.
There will be two public tours offered before the end of summer:
The first date is Tuesday August 22 at 4pm
The second public tour date will be Sunday August 27 at 10am
People can park in the parking lot at the entrance to the old road into Carrington Bay off Coulter Bay Road, which is also the start of the trail into the Children’s Forest.
These will be the first of several opportunities for the community to comment on and provide feedback on what will be a multi-phase selective harvest project.
You can download a preliminary map showing the location of the proposed new road here:
This map shows the road location and the likely stream crossing point. The map will be updated regularly over the next week as new data is integrated.
Posted July 14, 2017
Due to the dry conditions and elevated forest fire risk, all areas of the Cortes Community Forest are closed to firewood cutting until further notice. The CFGP requests that anyone going out in the woods exercise a high level of caution and respect the province wide fire ban.