Community forest for Grand Forks?

Coun. Chris Moslin speaks at a city council meeting

With Midway and Greenwood hoping to secure wood fibre for the mill in Midway, Grand Forks would also like to have a community forest.

Coun. Chris Moslin calls it a potential reconsideration of the community forest that had been offered by the ministry back at the beginning of the election term.

“What the Ministry of Forests offered us was 25,000 cubic metres of annual allowable cut,” Moslin says. “Which would’ve been patches on Phoenix Mountain, patches around Jewel Lake, patches up the North Fork Road and patches up by Christina Lake – it wasn’t like it was going to be one big solid piece of land.”

All of the places were spread out and each had its own management challenges, Moslin says.

“For example: If you think of the conflicting users and groups up on Phoenix Mountain, there’s not just forestry, there’s also mining, there’s heritage structures, there’s recreationalists, with the ski hill, and there’s also residents up there,” he says.

Because of those reasons and the American housing market crash in 2008, city council decided it was a bad time to consider a community forest and put it off for later.

But now with Midway and Greenwood looking to secure fibre, it may be time for Grand Forks too, Moslin says.

“My feelings are that we should go back and take another look at it, if there is indeed more than 25,000 cubic metres of annual allowable cut in the area – and that’s what I’m beginning to hear,” he says.

Moslin says that if there were a community forest, it would probably be managed as individual woodlots and also imagines that it would be in co-operation with the proposed Midway/Greenwood community forest.

He says there are drawbacks to a community forest though.

“A community forest isn’t cheap to start up, you have to do an inventory and you have to have hired professional staff to do that, and then you hope that your revenue flow covers your costs,” he said.