McGarrigle Creek, Mt BensonOver the past few months, PFLA has been involved in a series of meetings with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC). The meetings are multi-agency, multi-stakeholder events.

PFLA’s involvement is intended to help local government better understand the managed forest regulatory model, as well as the practices, relationships and programs private forest owners have in place to protect water on their land.

Councillor Solda, Director Marcotte, Councillor Price and Chair Stanhope attended on behalf of the AVICC.

Other participants included local government representatives:

  • Mayor Baird and Sundance Topham from Cumberland
  • Campbell River’s Water Supervisor, Nathalie Vaiu
  • Comox’s Senior Manager of Engineering Mark Rutten
  • Nanaimo Regional District’s CAO Paul Thorkelson

Along with representatives from:

  • Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
  • Managed Forest Council
  • Private Forest Landowners Association
  • TimberWest
  • Island Timberlands
  • Ministry of Environment
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority

The good news is the meetings are productive. We’ve seen assumptions and assertions dissolve in the face of facts and information about the level of care and attention that goes into managing and monitoring watersheds on private forestland.

The minutes from the last AVICC meeting in October include support for the development of a terms of reference for a small working stakeholder group — with representatives from VIHA, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations, UBCM, AVICC, Private Forest Landowners Association and the Managed Forest Council — that could be pulled together to address local or regional concerns as needed.

The Managed Forest Council is also invited to submit a presentation proposal for the 2015 AVICC Convention in Courtenay, BC — April 10-12, 2015.

PFLA is pleased to add this stakeholder group to the already long list of watershed groups our members are involved with, including:

  • San Juan Stewardship Roundtable
  • Cowichan River Stewardship Roundtable
  • Cowichan Watershed Board
  • Cowichan VRD Regional Watershed Governance
  • Shawnigan Basin Society/Shawnigan Watershed Roundtable
  • Nanaimo River Watershed Roundtable
  • Englishman River Steering Committee (led by Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Society)
  • Regional District of Nanaimo Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program, in particular the watershed monitoring and school education programs
  • Comox Lake Watershed Advisory Group
  • Campbell River Technical Watershed Committee