Are community forests successful in British Columbia? : an evaluation of the socio-economic success of the community forestry in British Columbia using Criterion 6 of the Montréal Process Boulton, Chris
Community forestry has recently begun to take hold in British Columbia. Though its origins lay as far back as the 1950’s, official government tenure agreement was only recently introduced in the late 1990s. In the last 5 years the community forestry has grown at an unprecedented rate currently totaling 58 projects either in full operation or at some degree of planning. Some applaud community forests as a way to revive struggling rural communities, while guaranteeing more ecologically friendly land management practices. However, with low lumber prices, concerns about the midterm timber supply, and the rising Canadian dollar, the viability, sustainability and socio-economic success of community forests has come into question. This paper attempts to evaluate the socio-economic success of four community forests of British Columbia using Criteria 6 of the Montréal Process. To be determined successful the community forests had to demonstrate at least 50% fulfillment of indicators within each element of Criterion 6. Furthermore, the community forests were ranked after having been evaluated. Results were compiled into a master table which revealed that according to the paper definition of success; all four of the community forests were determined to be socio-economically successful. However, it was also determined that if these findings were to be extrapolated on to all community forests, additional research and more specific indicators would have to be included.
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