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Who We Are

The Creston Community Forest envisions healthy forests with social, ecological, and economic benefits. We prioritize non-timber resources and local community input in our harvesting plans to make this vision a reality. Our community forest allows the Creston Valley to guide land-use decisions, respecting local interest and ecological integrity. Our guiding principles outline our long-term goals:
These goals guide our planning and decision-making, ensuring we prioritize actions based on community needs and reflect local values and concerns.

History

Creston Community Forest’s history can be traced back to January of 1996, when the B.C. government announced the availability of a Forest Licence to harvest 15,000 cubic metres annually in areas near Creston, including the Arrow Creek watershed. Concerns about water quality led five Creston organizations to apply for the licence. They were granted a 15-year forest licence, forming the Creston Valley Forest Corporation.
In October 2008, the Creston Valley Forest Corporation received a Probationary Community Forest Agreement, which later became a 25-year community forest agreement, leading to the formation of the Creston Community Forest. In 2016, the community forest expanded its area and saw an increase in the Allowable Annual Cut, which now stands at 25,000 cubic metres annually. This rich history showcases the power of community collaboration and the dedication of those who strive to balance environmental stewardship with sustainable economic practices.
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Meet the Team

To ensure smooth operations, the community forest has three permanent employees: a Forest Manager, a Planning and Development Supervisor, and an Office Administrator. All other operational work, including logging and tree planting, is contracted to local contractors based in the area. This approach supports local businesses and fosters community involvement in the forest management process.

The Creston Community Forest is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors. The board consists of five members from the community and one representative from each shareholder. Our shareholders include:

Town of Creston
Regional District of Central Kootenay
Wildsight
E
rickson Community Association
Trails for Creston Valley Society
SHAREHOLDER DIRECTORS
BRIAN CHURCHILL
CHAIR
Wildsight
(Retired Biologist)
JOHN CHISAMORE
SECRETARY
Regional District of Central Kootenay
(Retired Teacher)
JIM ELFORD
Town of Creston
(Councillor)
JERRY BAUER
Trails for Creston Valley Society
(Retired Forester)
BRAD RAE
Erickson Community Association
(Retired Fortis Gas Tech.)
COMMUNITY DIRECTORS
TOM OLENCZUK
(Retired Logger / Truck Driver)
ANN DEATHERAGE
(Retired Psych. Nurse)
ROBYN USHER
(Senior Project Manager & Facilitator)
GARY SOMMERFELD
(Retired Mechanic)
VACANCY
Board meetings are held on the last Thursday of every month, and are open to the public. Decision-making is determined by consensus (60 per cent), and all communication is recorded in Board Meeting Minutes.
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