Community Forest Agreements

A community forest agreement (CFA) is an area-based forest licence managed by a local government, community group, First Nation, or combination of local governments, First Nations and community groups, for the benefit of the entire community.

Community forests support opportunities in areas such as recreation, wildlife and watershed management for communities and contribute to a more diversified forest economy.

The Goals of the Community Forest Program are to:

  • provide long-term opportunities for achieving a range of community objectives, values and priorities
  • diversify the use of and benefits derived from the community forest agreement area
  • provide social and economic benefits to British Columbia
  • undertake community forestry consistent with sound principles of environmental stewardship that reflect a broad spectrum of values
  • promote community involvement and participation
  • promote communication and strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities and persons
  • foster innovation
  • advocate forest worker safety

Harvesting operations provide a source of revenue for supporting local priorities and community initiatives. Harvest rates and exact locations within the tenure can be set to meet locally determined objectives and interests. About 1.2 million cubic metres of timber is allocated for small tenures such as community forest agreements and woodlot licences.

Communities are directly invited to apply for a community forest agreement without competition. Community forest agreements are for a term of 25-99 years and are replaceable every 10 years.

Before initiating an opportunity for a CFA, the Crown may consider a number of factors, including:

  • The availability of suitable allowable annual cut,
  • The availability of unencumbered landbase within a timber supply area,
  • The anticipated level of local support for the opportunity, and
  • The potential to address local land use issues.

It is strongly suggested that applicants meet with the appropriate regional ministry contact to go over the requirements in detail prior to starting their application.

 Regional flowcharts outlining the application process:

Templates:

Since all the timber in a community forest agreement is priced via tabular rates, the need for appraisal information by cutting permit is eliminated. Therefore, the one cutting permit can apply to the entire community forest area.  This eliminates multiple cutting permit submissions by the licensee and processing by government. This also gives the licensee the ability to quickly react to niche markets or demands.

In keeping with a results-based approach, agreement holders report on their activities after completion. This has the added advantage that harvest block boundaries are submitted only once. This results in lower administration and data storage costs.