The Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA) held their annual conference and AGM in Campbell River and Quadra Island, September 19-22, 2013.

PFLA shares a long and productive history with the FBCWA. We also share a lot of the same goals and beliefs about forest stewardship and land management. Many PFLA members are also FBCWA members, and from time to time the two organizations work together on common issues.

The FBCWA conference and field tour was an interesting, useful and educational opportunity for PFLA to engage and connect with licensees, landowners, ministry staff and other important stakeholders involved with PFLA over the years. As always, we were impressed and inspired to find a dynamic group of industrious people, deeply passionate about the work they do.

 Conference Highlights

2013 Woodlot Stewardship Recognition video — Jerry Benner presented a 16-minute video describing the evolution of the woodlot program on Quadra Island and highlighting some of the challenges and successes licensees have faced and accomplished since the program’s inception in the late 1980s.  (Link to the video coming soon!)

Rick Monchak, RPF, TimberWest — Rick’s presentation, “Woodlot Style” Forestry on a TFL, provided a detailed history and description of the company’s approach to managing land on Quadra Island over the past 30 years.

Judi Cunningham, UBC Sauder School of Business — Judi Cunningham’s presentation highlighted the importance of family-run businesses to the global economy and included all kinds of practical information and resources for business owners and family members to think about.

Bill Markvoort and Terry Basso, Probyn Group — Bill and Terry offered an enlightening presentation about coastal log markets. They used graphs, charts and years of local knowledge to make sense of current log market opportunities and also provided insights and advice to help land managers best plan for future cycles.

Friday Night Banquet

Not to be out done by the charm of the west coast, the excellent spread at the April Point Lodge or the lively entertainment, Minister Thomson gave a heartfelt speech to the group acknowledging the dedication, commitment and contributions that woodlot licensees make to the overall fabric of forest stewardship in the province.

Field Tour Highlights

Saturday’s field tour on Quadra Island was an excellent opportunity to hear firsthand how other forest managers tackle issues. Because many PFLA members face challenges operating close to the urban interface in coastal communities, it was particularly interesting to visit the Village Bay Road stop on the north end of the island.

Woodlot licensees, tourism operators and ministry staff discussed managing for visual quality objectives (VQOs) and offered examples of different strategies used:

  • leave a standing buffer vs. clear to the road in staggered sections (red alder site)
  • commercial thin vs. patch cut (Douglas-fir site)

It was interesting to learn what the expectations of tourism operators are, and how woodlot lincensees are managing those expectations.

Rick Monchak RPF TimberWest

A second highlight was Rick Monchak’s facts and figures comparing the visual and economic history of a 1975 cable commercial thinning. Using recent timber cruise data, Rick compared the block with an adjacent untreated control site and presented the long-term outcomes in those particular circumstances.

The presentation was a handy reminder that different treatments impact the long-term value of a stand. A lot of the things you do — the treatments you carry out, the investments you make — you do because they make good sense at the time, but then decades later you can realize it doesn’t make sense anymore.

Mark Nighswander

We were also lucky to tour Mark Nighswander’s private property where he described, with enthusiasm, the diversity of trees he’s planted in an endeavour to establish non-native species known for their high values, including a variety of eastern Canadian hardwoods.

You can visit our Facebook page to see a few more Quadra Island field tour photos.

Thanks again to FBCWA organizers, volunteers, staff and community members in Campbell River and on Quadra Island for hosting the event and sharing such a positive and inspiring perspective on community friendly forestry.

The FBCWA promotes the economic and social interests of woodlot lincensees, private forest landowners and others involved in small-scale forest management in British Columbia. The FBCWA’s mission is for all its members to practice exemplary forest and natural resources management in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner.

FBCWA Mission Statement