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- Celebrating National Forest Week, September 17-23
With the national 2023 theme of “Canada’s Forests: Supporting Biological Diversity," the Creston Community Forest invites the community to learn more about the forest sector and its significance to not only Creston’s culture, history, and future but Canada’s as a whole in supporting a greater recognition of forests as a valuable, renewable and green resource. THIS WEEK: National Forest Week Celebration, September 17-23, with the theme of “Canada’s Forests: Supporting Biological Diversity." The Creston Community Forest invites the community to learn more about the forest sector and its significance to not only Creston’s culture, history and future but Canada’s as a whole in supporting a greater recognition of forests as a valuable, renewable and green resource. National Forest Week is a yearly celebration that highlights the significance of forests in our daily lives and underscores the need for their careful stewardship. This year's theme, "Canada’s Forests: Supporting Biological Diversity," reminds us of the interconnectedness between forests, people, and the environment. From September 17-23, National Forest Week aims to raise awareness about the importance of responsible forest management, conservation, and the numerous benefits our ecosystems provide. We are excited to announce engaging and educational opportunities celebrating the rich biodiversity and sustainable forestry practices that define Creston’s forests. The Creston Community Forest, together with Canfor and JH Huscroft will be hosting a field trip that will include a biodiversity walk, painting tree cookies, interactive workshops on sustainable forestry practices, and informative talks by local experts in the field. "We always enjoy hosting National Forest Week. Given the rich history that the Creston Valley has with forestry, National Forest Week showcases British Columbia's forests and fosters a deeper understanding of the vital role forests play in our communities," said Daniel Gratton, Creston Community Forest Manager. "This week serves as a platform to connect schools, inspire improved forest stewardship, and promote a greater understanding of what forest professionals do.” Local schools are encouraged to participate in educational programs designed to ignite students' interest in the environment and encourage them to become future advocates for responsible forest management. Additionally, families and individuals can enjoy recreational activities such as sharing their photos on social media, hikes on the Creston Community Forest trails, and picking up one of the Creston Community Forest Trail Guide Books at the local tourism centre or at the trail kiosks on the trails they maintain. Residents and visitors alike are invited to take part in National Forest Week celebrations by joining the events and sharing their experiences on social media using the hashtags #NationalForestWeek and #BCForestWeek2023. To help you participate in this week's celebrations from home or in schools, we attached easy-to-apply curriculum based activities, art templates, and so much more by clicking this link: https://www.cif-ifc.org/get-engaged/forest-education/#
- Summer Students, Erich Endersby & Ashlyn Yanciw, share their 2023 experience with us.
Many people ask what role we play in Forestry and more specifically, in the Creston Valley. Today's answer is through these two examples. We asked our Summer Students, Erich Endersby & Ashlyn Yanciw who are returning to school, to leave us this season with short articles about their experience and what they will take with them in the future. You can read both articles below in this post. Not only do they explain their experiences of the summer, but both make us proud to know that the generation following us are insightful, based in action, and are community focused. They make us very proud and we hope, will also make you. "I’ve learned many new skills while working with the Creston Community Forest, all of which are practical to my Forest Technology studies at Selkirk College. It has been an honour getting to know the community better and to see the same passion I have towards the forest in those around me. Improving forest health and education within the Creston valley has been a fundamental part of my job, from contributing to wildfire risk reduction, site restoration and public consultation, these are all valuable skills which are transferable to other aspects of my life and future job prospects. One of my favourite aspects of my job has been the variety of roles and responsibilities, no two days were alike, and I learned something new everyday. I met a lot of great people while working with the community and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the Community Forest Corp." - Erich Endersby "My experience working with the Creston Community Forest has been broad and eye-opening. Between silviculture surveys, site restoration, block boundary painting, to farmers markets with the Firesmart program, I enjoyed every aspect of the job. The community forest is vastly different from any other forestry company I’ve encountered and gave me a whole new perspective on the forestry industry. Being community driven is one of the most important values with this company, and it really shows in all avenues of their operations. Forest health, education, regeneration, forest fire mitigation and sustainable recreation were huge topics over the summer, and something that the Community Forest heavily prioritizes. I had the honour of attending the community forest AGM in Kamloops this spring and was able to meet with all the community forests in British Columbia. There I was shown how important the community aspect of forestry is, and what future directives are being implemented to revamp forestry in a whole new, sustainable way. Forest regeneration and fire mitigation are some of the most imperative topics with how the climate is changing and the new normal of annual fire evacuations throughout the province. I was able to learn and grow from so many caring and intelligent individuals as part of the Community Forest and am so thankful for my experiences this summer. I learned so many new things and was really shown how much the Community Forest not only cares about the community itself, but for the wellbeing of the forests around us. The Creston Valley Forest Corp. truly puts the community in Community Forest." - Ashlyn Yanciw
- Join Our Board - Community Director position available
We are accepting applications from individuals wishing to serve as our volunteer Community Director position. Applications will be accepted until October 20th, 2023. The Creston Valley Forest Corporation dba. CRESTON COMMUNITY FOREST (CCF) is inviting applications from individuals interested in serving as a volunteer Community Director. Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, October 20th, 2023. CCF is responsible for managing over 21,000 hectares of forested land surrounding the Creston Valley and practices sustainable forestry that provides local forest employment. CCF is a not-for-profit corporation that applies community-based environmental, social and economic values to its operations and administers its profits for community benefit. The Board establishes policies and provides staff with guidance regarding company expenditures. Board meetings are held locally on a monthly basis. To obtain an information package and application, please call 250-402-0070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An Education, What a Forest Area Offers
As we cleaned up a new trail system, we noticed how logging and fires were part of the Creston Valley area decades ago. Most professional foresters become part of the industry to protect and enjoy the education a forest area offers all of us for generations.
- Forest Management Technique - Hand Thinning
When a forest is overcrowded just like a community, it becomes unhealthy. 'Hand Thinning' seen here is primarily undertaken to remove small diameter trees (sometimes called ladder fuels) from forest areas that are too dense. The benefits of hand thinning: improved wildlife habitat. The grueling task of Hand Thinning is an effective prescription for sustaining a healthy forest by removing the dry dead trees and allowing space for the healthy trees to maintain moisture. This is another Fire Mitigation practice we use to keep the forest thriving and our community safe.
- Welcome Angela French, our new Forest Planning and Development Supervisor
We would like to welcome Angela French to our team! She is the new Forest Planning and Development Supervisor for the Creston Community Forest. She started her career in forestry in the West Kootenays in 2013 after deciding to leave her home town of Langley, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. Over the past decade she experienced a diversity of roles and functions, including forest development, planning, silviculture, community engagement, and most recently in wildfire mitigation and community resilience. She worked in a variety of organizations including consultancy, a privately owned veneer mill, provincial government and local government. Since her time in the forestry program at Selkirk College in Castlegar, community forestry has been a passion of hers. To be able to be a part of managing a forest based on the values that stem from the community itself, though these values can sometimes be competing, provides so much purpose to what she does. With the goal of working with the community to try to find positive solutions as an essential objective, she is looking forward to building connections and working to continue to manage the community forest from a mmunity-centric perspective. She resides in what is now known as Salmo on a small sustainable commercial vegetable farm with her partner and several fur-kids. In her spare time, she does as much horseback riding as possible, camping, hiking, and music festivals. She enjoys traveling and experiencing diverse cultures and perspectives. A big welcome to Angela. We are thrilled to have her as part of the team and the community.
- The Sullivan Creek Trail History and Experience
The Sullivan Creek Trail. HISTORY: Also called the Pack Trail, built in the 1920’s to ascend to the fire lookout located on the top of Mount Thompson. Sullivan Creek Trail is a decommissioned logging road spurring off of the 2km point on Mt. Thompson Forest Service Road. EXPERIENCE: This trail provides hikers, runners, bikers, and horseback riders with a 10 km back-country adventure along beautiful alder and cedar-hemlock forests. Not only does this trail serve as a lovely day hike, but it also provides non-motorized users access to our hiking trails that spur off of the Sullivan Creek Trail’s switchbacks. One of the trails that spurs off the Sullivan Creek Trail is the West Ridge Trail. It allows hikers access from the 4km switchback up the Sullivan Creek Trail all the way to the top of Mount Thompson, eventually connecting hikers to the Thompson Rim Trail. This trail will run up and along the western face of Mount Thompson, and passes through multiple scenic viewpoints, as well as beautiful old growth forests. Photo: The person seated in the photo is taken at the top of Mt. Thompson.
- Forest Management Technique: Cable Logging
Forest Operations includes 'cable logging' and shown here you can see how this selective process allows for diverse operations in forestry. Our cable logger recently completed another wildfire risk reduction block on Goat Mountain. Once again, we thin the forest leaving a more open stand, followed by slashing the understory to clear combustible forest debris.
- Bear Aware & Hands On Spray Class with WildSafe BC
That's a wrap! Ten community members joined our lunch hour 'Bear Aware & Spray" class, presented by Nadia from BC Wild Safe. We had such great feed back about hosting it. One community member wants us to host it for their organization next spring. A big safe win for our community. We would like to thank all participants for joining us. We also would like to thank Nadia who makes this class not only informative and hands-on but keeps the topic exciting and interactive. Nadia's presentation style seems natural on the topics of the environment and wildlife-human interaction. THANK YOU. If you missed this class and would like to know more about another date, Nadia will be at Creston's Farmers' Market tomorrow from 11am-1pm. Stop by and say hi. Some topics that were highlighted: * where to carry your spray while hiking and why. * where to discard your bear spray if it is used or expired. * how to tell if your spray is expired. * what are the signs of an aggravated bear. * why male black bears are the unexpected bear to make contact. * why creating a spray wall works. and so much more!
- Forest Management Techniques: Mulching
Innovative methods for Fire Mitigation: Mulching in the Creston Valley to reduce wild fire risk. In 2021 Creston Community Forest Manager, Daniel Gratton, started a pilot project in the Creston Valley using a wildfire risk reduction treatment that involved mulching forest debris rather than relying on burning. Throughout many of the community forest's wild fire risk reduction projects, a combination of piling/ burning and mulching of forest debris is used. “One of the problems we face is trying to burn in the late fall and not having proper venting or burning conditions. We’re constantly working with or against the weather. Mulching of debris has proven to be very effective given that smoke levels are abated and soil microbial activity is greatly increased. Nutrients for the soil are always a good thing" says Daniel. Questions we often receive, "why shouldn't bark mulch be used for landscaping?" Doesn’t it create a risk to the home if a wildfire were to occur? The other question is, "why do we choose to chip/mulch on our sites?" The difference with the mulching that occurs on our sites is that forest floor conditions are cooler and damp, compared to the mulch some homeowners may use for landscaping. Given the cooler forest floor, the amount of trees that are left standing, the mulch begins to break down soon after the chipping occurs. Whereas, the mulch used for landscaping around a home is already dried out and doesn't break down as fast. Even if a wildfire were to occur in a treated area, the risk has been greatly diminished allowing crews much better access into the area, if a wildfire were to occur. The Community Forest is currently looking into the science behind this risk reduction treatment to substantiate the efficacy of this treatment method. Seen in slideshow: 1. Forest Manager, Daniel, testing the moisture and temperature of the mulch. 2. Forest floor cleaned up by mulching. 3. Biologist & Board Member, Robyn, feeling the moisture of the layer under top mulch.
- NEW to our trailhead kiosks - A Trail Guide Handbook, "Trees, Shrubs, Wildflowers"
NEW to our trails and perfect for the summer. Use it with the kids to create a fun scavenger hunt or keep one in your backpack for easy reading on the trails. The Creston Community Forest is very pleased to provide a pocket sized Trail Guide Book to help hikers and nature enthusiasts identify trees, shrubs and wildflowers that are found in the Creston Valley. These booklets can be found at all of our kiosks/trailheads and are free to keep. Happy hiking!!!
- Road Closed
ROAD CLOSURE WHERE: Goat Mountain Forest Service Road WHEN: Monday - Friday (including Friday), Starting: Monday July 10th - approximately Friday July 21st, 2023. *Limited Access: up to 2nd Km sign, beyond that road will be closed Mondays - Fridays. **Full Access: will be available during the weekends: Saturdays and Sundays. REASON: active logging for additional wildfire risk reduction. Thank you. Be safe on the roads and trails. See less