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  • 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.

  • Creston Community Forest Contributes $75,000 to the Crawford Hill Wetlands Reservoir Project

    The Creston Community Forest recently announced the contribution of $75,000 to the Crawford Hill Wetlands Reservoir Project. The project is in partnership with the Town of Creston for the remediation of the former Crawford Hill Reservoir Site located at 226 24th Avenue North in Creston. The project will be completed in two parts; one being the restoration of the reservoirs and the second to create a natural public open space for the community to enjoy. Once completed, the three former water reservoirs and 10 acres of land will be a wetlands habitat for a diversity of wildlife and a recreational space for public use.

  • 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

  • A Reintroduction to Who We Are

    It's been a while since we posted, so let's reintroduce ourselves. Our goal as a not-for-profit is always about Our Community, Your Forest. We focus on the important principles of Managing Our Community Forest Now for Future Generations with three key guiding components: 1. Recreation. 2. Education 3. Wildfire. Through the month and moving forward, you will find us on social media sharing more of what we do, how we help and who we are. We will introduce you to each of our local team members, contractors and board members over the next few months to put local faces to who we are rather than just a logo. We certainly look forward to sharing more about how we support youth, Creston and the forest: our community. Our Mission: “To be outstanding stewards, managing forest resources for environmental sustainability and economic stability while providing education and recreation opportunities in the Creston Valley.” Thank you for following along with us as we move forward!

  • Bonnie Lake Trail Construction Complete

    Construction has officially been completed on the trail to Bonnie Lake, a small alpine lake nestled in a valley on the eastern side of Mt. Thompson’s South Peak. The trailhead can be found approximately 2.9 km down the Rim Trail, easing off to the left and starting down a steep side slope through the alpine. Recommended for intermediate to advanced hikers, the trail gradually steepens, leading through a series of switch backs after 400 meters. The trail itself spans just over 1 km to the lake, with a total vertical drop of 250 meters. Once reaching the lake the trail leads along the shoreline for a quick walk to an unofficial campsite. Plans are in place for a picnic table and fire ring to be installed at the campsite later on this year. Construction of the trail began July 11th of this year, and was completed on August 25th. The Community Forest gives thanks for the hard work of our trail crew and volunteers, who made the completion of this trail possible despite difficult working conditions. Trail Foreman – Adam Mjolsness Trail Crew – Erich Endersby, Evans Daybell-Chambers, Kole Fay, Ashlyn Yanciw, Michael Herman, Willie Volunteers – Trevor Marzke, Candi Huscroft, Heather Young, Melisa Luymes, Kevin Reid, Emma Middleton, Ryder Moore, Tim Raff, Eloise Carr, Gwen Telling, Ben Nixon, Carol Anderson, Burt Huscroft, Linda Huscroft, Brian Huscroft, Dave Wigen, Jerry Bauer A special thank you is given to the Columbia Basin Trust for their support in completing this trail with a grant of $8,533.

  • A Community Reduces Wildfire Risk

    A local project to protect communities led by locals also increased employment. Prescribed burn on Goat Mountain. Photos courtesy of Creston Community Forest. When the heat of summer hits, the focus of many people turns to the forests and the potential threat of wildfire to communities, important infrastructure, and transportation corridors. Taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk of wildfire can help better protect communities and bring a higher level of comfort to many, which is exactly what the Creston Community Forest (CCF) has done. With a grant of $670,000 from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the CCF was able to target an area on Arrow Mountain, three kilometres north of Creston,B.C., to reduce the risk of wildfire to the neighbouring communities of Creston and Wynndel. The project site at Arrow Mountain, also known to locals as Goat Mountain, is popular for hiking, off roading, and hunting, and accessed by a forest service road. “We were very thoughtful in our planning and in the treatment of the area,” noted Daniel Gratton, forest manager of the CCF. “We opened the forested area up by taking out some of the unhealthy trees and we left a good number of trees behind. Then we had a crew come in and do the cleanup work of gathering up some of the small bushes and shrubs—called the understory—to be piled and burned.” The project treated over 120 hectares on Arrow Mountain. Approximately 10,400 cubic metres was harvested from all seven blocks and mistletoe, infected larch, and unhealthy Douglas-fir were removed. The resulting state of the forest is now more like what would have existed when wildfires frequented the area prior to the introduction of the fire suppression programs in the early 1900s. “A lot of people don’t know it, but wildfires used to go through the Creston Valley and through the forests every 30 to 40 years,” said Gratton. “Many of the forests we see in our area today are not what they would have been 200 years ago because we’ve removed the occurrence of wildfires. What we are trying to do now is mimic what a wildfire would do; clean up the understory, take out some of the ladder fuels, and restore the ecology of the area.” Since completion of this project, the community forest has now identified several other blocks that need this mitigation work. “The Creston Community Forest has taken on a leadership role in their community, taking action, reducing the risk of wildfire to the community, and doing good forest management at the same time,” said Gord Pratt, RPF, FESBC Senior Manager. “They are finding the balance between forest management and wildfire risk reduction activities to meet the many needs of the public in the area.” The project also saw outstanding economic benefits to the community extending beyond wildfire protection and created a steady source of income for many locals. “The funding from FESBC helped provide employment to at least 15 locals who were involved in the development and planning phase, and the implementation to facilitate the piling, chipping, slashing, and burning,” said Gratton. Jim Macaulay of Macaulay Forestry Ltd. has worked in the Creston area for 27 years and was thrilled with the opportunity the project brought to his company. “It is very good working with local licensees to be able to complete this type of work. It’s beneficial to the surrounding community as we are trying to minimize the impact if we were to have a wildfire, so it won’t be so severe,” said Macaulay, adding, “We have nine employees on the payroll right now and the project supplied us with nine to 10 months of full-time employment.” Macaulay’s crew was involved in completing the slashing, piling, and burning on the majority of the project site and they even assisted the BC Wildfire Service, the Creston Fire Department, and the community forest on two broadcast burns, which are controlled burns that take place under specific conditions. “We all worked very well together,” said Macaulay. “The project got different parties working together and it was fantastic!” Another contractor working on the project was Lance Huscroft of Northspar Holdings Ltd, who also echoed the sentiments shared by Macaulay. “It has been very enjoyable working so close to home on these projects with the community forest,” said Huscroft, who has been logging in the area for 28 years. “We’ve all appreciated being able to work so close to our homes to be close to our families, to get to town quickly for parts, and then back to the job site should something break-down. In the process, we supported local businesses for our service/parts needs and hired a local mechanic and trucking contractor. The majority of the timber was also shipped to the J.H. Huscroft sawmill in Creston.” For Gratton, the success of this project is defined by the areas treated and the employment of locals. “It was extremely important to have received funding from FESBC,” concluded Gratton. “We wouldn’t have done this amount of work and in such a short period of time without it. Quite honestly, it is something that was very important to us, but economically, I don’t think we would have been able to carry out this work in these areas, so we are grateful.”

  • Creston Community Forest provides funding

    Funding provided to the Lower Kootenay Band Yaqan Nukiy Wetland Restoration Project Creston Community Forest board members, John Chisamore and Ann Deatherage presented Lower Kootenay Band Chief Jason Louis and Facilities and Operations Manager Ken White with the first of two $20,000 cheques to assist with fencing to protect the Yaqan Nukiy Wetland Restoration Project. For more information about the Yaqan Nukiy Wetlands Restoration project please visit: https://lowerkootenay.com/wetlands-restoration-projects/

  • Hiking Season has Begun!

    The warmer weather has arrived and it’s time to get out hiking! The Creston Community Forest trails crew has been busy clearing trails and improving them for everyone to use. Please remember to use the trails with care and practice bear avoidance by hiking in groups, making nose and carrying bear spray. For more information about our trails and hiking maps click here.

  • Prescribed Burn to Happen on Goat Mountain

    To further our fuel mitigation work on Goat Mountain, the BC Wildfire Service will be supporting the Creston Community Forest by conducting a prescribed burn. A prescribed burn helps to reduce the severity of future wildfires and related threats to the Creston Valley. The burn will start at roughly 1KM up Goat Mountain FSR and will cover 12 hectares over 2 blocks. The exact timing of the burn will depend on weather conditions but it could happen as early as Tuesday, March 30th. The burning will only occur when conditions are favourable and the venting index rating is good. However, even with favourable conditions, light smoke may linger throughout the following days. To learn more about prescribed burning please click here.

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