The Village of Midway and City of Greenwood are in the process of looking into the creation of a community forest.
The forest could help supply fibre for the Midway mill, as well as serve as an educational piece for local students, says Midway Mayor Randy Kappes.
“Being that this is a very tightly tied area to logging and forestry, I think that it would benefit the communities by just bettering forestry and logging in the area,” Kappes says.
“If we can supply fibre source to the mill: great. Other than that, if we can continue to educate generations to come in forestry… it ensures that forestry is top of the mind.”
Kappes says that the two communities have requested an invitation from the minister and are waiting to hear back.
“We’d like to make it as environmentally sound as possible. Basically we’d like to make it a showcase. Obviously we want to use it for fibre supply as well, but at the same time we’d really like to make it as nice of a community forest as possible.”
Kappes says that they have looked at a few models, but the process would still take public consultation if the ministry gives approval.
“Well we looked at a few different ones,” he says. “We’re going to have to kind of take a look as we go through the process. As I understand it, the process of forming a community forest is at least a year, if not two years. By which part we have to have community consultation meetings.”
He adds that the model would be different because of the unique needs of each community.
“We have to kind of take a look at the different models and it’s going to be something a little bit different,” he says. “Because of it being not just one community that’s involved, but a couple. We’ll have to do it a little bit differently than one-community community forests.”
Kappes adds that the process is still a ways off and there is a lot to do.
“We’ll have to see what models work best for our particular situation, and then we’ll have to take a look at what community forests are being used for out there.”