Creating Jobs and New Revenue Streams with a Community Forest License


Lower North Thompson Community Forest

The Challenge: Sustainability and Stewardship

  • To establish local control of dedicated forest resources for the long-term sustainability of the five participating communities
  • To secure an opportunity for these communities to be more self-determined
  • To engender economic stability in these communities and to demonstrate exemplary stewardship of the local forest environment

The Solution: Have Sawmill, Will Travel

Lower North Thompson Community Society sawmill

The purchase of a portable sawmill allowed the community forest society to deliver a Milling and Carpentry Job Creation Project, creating sustainable employment and revenue. The sawmill was purchased with funding from a number of sources: the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust; local businesses (including a small sawmill operator); and Brandt Tractor. The project was developed in partnership with the B.C. government.  

Benefits: Portable Revenues

  • Having a portable sawmill allows milling sites to be established where and when needed with onsite milling services
  • Profits provide revenue for community enhancement within each of the participating areas by providing grants to not for profit organizations, scholarships and bursaries for graduating students
  • Attract value-added industry to the area by securing a steady supply of fiber at a fair market price
  • Establish local control of forest resources and ensure good stewardship of environment

Outcomes: Meeting Local Needs

  • Purchase of the portable sawmill 
  • Creation of one permanent full time position, and two seasonal positions 
  • Revenue creation through the sale of manufactured wood products by the mill
  • Construction of recreation site/trail amenities (picnic table, benches, shelters, signs)
  • Milling of lumber for use in improvements to the Baldy Mountain Fire Lookout

Lessons Learned: Volunteers Add to Local Economy

  • Local volunteers were able to identify a need for ongoing forestry management and take initiative to participate
  • By purchasing a portable sawmill, the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society is able to teach and train people in best forestry practices and contribute to the local economy

February 3, 2017