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  • Home | Creston Community Forest, BC

    Managing Our Community Forest for Fut ure Generations ​ Nestled between the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains, w e are a not-for-profit forest corporation managing the Creston Community Forest. Our focus is wildfire risk reduction, education, recreation and community resiliency for future generations. Sign Up for Monthly Newsletter What is a Community Forest? A Community Forest is an area-based forest tenure awarded by government to communities to enhance their local control over forest management. Community forests create local jobs and keep profits within the community. We manage over 21,000 hectares of land with primary objectives to promote a healthy, sustainable community forest ecosystem, while fostering a thriving timber industry that benefits the entire Creston Community. ​ Creating local jobs, supporting industries, and generating revenue that directly benefits our community, our goal is to create a resilient, sustainable forest for our community to enjoy and engage the next generation of stewards who will shape the future of our forests. FOREST MANAGEMENT ​ Committed to managing our community forest for future generations : innovative and sustainable logging, preserving healthy forests, continuous recreational and employment benefits, wildlife habitat enhancement, and wildfire risk reduction. More Info EDUCATION Dedicated to expanding the concepts of a healthy forest: benefits of a healthy ecosystem, innovative techniques used in forestry, biodiversity, wildlife and watersheds, and our need to sustain healthy practices in the forest. More Info RECREATION Creating safe spaces to enhance your hiking experience: bridge development, trailhead kiosk with maps, developed trails, lookout points, maintenance on existing trails, over 35 kilometres of trails and planning for future trails. ​ More Info Sign Up for Monthly Newsletter Latest News Celebrating National Forest Week, September 17-23 Summer Students, Erich Endersby & Ashlyn Yanciw, share their 2023 experience with us. Join Our Board - Community Director position available More News & Stories Click HERE How to Get Involved Forest Stewardship Plan

  • Silviculture | Creston Community Forest, BC

    FOREST OPERATIONS Silviculture We focus on creating resilient forests that can thrive in changing conditions driven by climate change. Our silviculture practices prioritize ecosystem-based management, ensuring that future stands are well-suited to their growing conditions and highly resilient. To enhance the forest's resilience, we incorporate a diverse range of tree species that are naturally adapted to each site's specific conditions. This includes both commercially viable and non-commercially viable species, resulting in a higher species diversity and a forest that goes beyond pure production goals. We also consider the site's natural disturbance regime when developing silvicultural prescriptions. By mimicking natural disturbances like an occasional windfall, we apply selective harvesting systems that the forest is best adapted to. This approach promotes the growth of diverse tree species and age classes, ensuring the long-term health of our timber resources for future generations. Through our silviculture practices, we not only care for the timber resources in our operational area but also create forests that are resilient and well-prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.

  • About Us | Creston Community Forest, BC

    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: Manage forest resources for long-term community benefit. Operate the community forest as a viable forestry enterprise. Educate the public on the community forest and Creston's forest management. Enhance partnerships with local First Nations. Develop a timber harvesting schedule for the next 5–10 years. These goals guide our planning and decision-making, ensuring we prioritize actions based on community needs and reflect local values and concerns. Resources / Links Guiding Principles Management Plan Forest Stewardship Plan Firewood Permit Policy Manual 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. 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. Forest Manager Daniel Gratton, RPF Planning and Development Supervisor Angela French, RFT Office Administrator & Safety Coordinator Kris VanderWeyde Communications / Marketing Sharlyn Carter 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 CHIS AM ORE 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 (R etired 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.

  • Billy Goat Bluffs | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BILLY GOAT BLUFFS The Billy Goat Bluffs trail was developed in June 2018 by the generous and hard-working volunteers through the Creston Community Forest as well as the Trails for Creston Valley Society. This 2.7 km (one-way) trail takes you up to a rocky outcrop overlooking the Creston Valley. This trail provides hikers with easy-access hiking right outside of town. On the way up the trail passes through an old apple orchard, a fuel mitigation area completed by the Town of Creston in 2012, several rocky viewpoints and several large, old Ponderosa pine trees, some with bear claw marks. At the top of the bluffs, hikers can enjoy the scenery by sitting at the beautiful picnic table crafted by woodshop students from Prince Charles Secondary School. A short trail to the north from the picnic tables leads to a bench with a great view of Duck Lake and the lower end of Kootenay Lake. ​ Access: From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, head north on Highway 3 towards Wynndel. After 2.6 km, turn right onto Helen Street (at the Tim Hortons). Continue on Helen Street for roughly 350 meters – the trail head will be located on the left, next to an information board about the trail. A small parking area may be found on the right hand side of the road. Trailhead Access from town: 5-10 minutes Hiking time (return): ~3 hours Elevation gain: 369 meters Distance: 5.4 km (return) Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point

  • Fuel Mitigation | Creston Community Forest, BC

    FOREST OPERATIONS Fuel Mitigation Fuel mitigation is to address the growing risk of intense wildfires in our region. With hotter and drier summers, wildfires have become more frequent and severe. By removing excess fuel, such as woody debris and dead trees from specific areas, we create more fire-resilient forests that act as barriers to fire spread. The amount and type of fuel removal are tailored to site-specific conditions, resulting in a forest that experiences low-intensity surface fires. Implementing fuel mitigation, especially in the Wildland Urban Interface, is vital for communities across B.C. to enhance their fire protection measures. FOREST OPERATIONS Wildland Urban Interface The Wildland Urban Interface is where our community meets the wilderness, with dense forests and thick undergrowth. This zone covers a significant portion of Creston and its surrounding areas. While it offers great recreational opportunities, these areas pose a risk to businesses, homeowners, and private landowners in the event of a wildfire. These forests are more prone to high-intensity wildfires due to the abundance of fuel, such as deadfall and dense shrub layers. As this zone encompasses a large part of the Creston Valley, many people are directly exposed to the threat of intense wildfires. That's why wildfire risk reduction through fuel mitigation work has become increasingly important as communities recognize the risks associated with these transition areas. To read about some of our previous wildfire mitigation projects, visit our blog . For perspective of how much area is at risk to wildfire by being located within the Wildland Urban Interface, check out the video.

  • Get Involved | Creston Community Forest, BC

    Contact Us Box 551 Creston, BC, V0B 1G0, Canada 250.402.0070 Daniel Gratton:

  • Harvesting | Creston Community Forest, BC

    FOREST OPERATIONS Harvesting Our harvesting methods are selected based on site-specific conditions to ensure responsible timber extraction. Factors such as slope, tree species, ecosystem classification, forest health, wildlife habitats, old growth areas, and community proximity influence all of our decision-making processes. By following ecosystem-based management principles, we aim to mirror natural disturbance patterns, minimizing our impact on both timber and non-timber resources. Each harvesting system is chosen with the landscape and a number of values in mind, prioritizing the long-term health of the community forest. We strive for sustainable practices that maintain the balance between timber production and environmental conservation.

  • What We Do | Creston Community Forest, BC

    What We Do We are a not-for-profit forest company who log to mitigate fires and contribute funds back into the community of Creston. Forest Operations We are deeply rooted in the values of our community. Silviculture, Harvesting and Fire Mitigation are sustainable treatment methods we practice to match with the community’s values. Read More Forest Education At the Creston Community Forest Corporation, we foster hands-on learning within our community. Learn more, about our exciting educational opportunities for secondary and post-secondary student. Read More Forest Recreation We are proud to build a network of scenic hiking trails in the Creston Valley area. We encourage people to enjoy each trail as part of their well-being and enjoyment. Read more for a full list of our six trails. Read More Billy Goat Bluffs Trail silviculture and summer students Birch Creek road Creston Community Forest_edited Billy Goat Bluffs Trail 1/14

  • Forest Education | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BACK Forest Education Join us for exciting educational opportunities! We offer engaging field trips for school groups, including primary and high school students. Don't miss our annual trips: World Environment Day and National Forest Week. Field Trips On World Environment Day (June 5th), we explore climate change and ways to reduce our impact on the planet. Activities like nature scavenger hunts, tree planting, and weaving skills make each trip unique. During National Forest Week in September, Grade 5 students embark on a forest ecology adventure. They learn about biodiversity, wildfire protection, and compassing, and take part in wood cookie painting and tree identification. It's a fun-filled day with approximately 80–150 students attending. Summer Students We hire two summer students each year for hands-on fieldwork. They gain valuable experience in forest technician work, including silviculture surveys, block layout, timber cruising, and trail building. For more information on forest education, email Daniel Gratton at or call 250.402.0070 . Join us in exploring and learning about your local community forest!

  • Thompson Rim Trail | Creston Forest

    THOMPSON RIM TRAIL Leaving directly south from the Mt Thompson campsite, the Thompson Rim Trail undulates along the Skimmerhorn ridgeline. Gnarly Balsam Fir and Whitebark Pine dot sub-alpine meadows home to Mariposa Lily, Mountain Harebell, Spike-like Goldenrod, Sub-alpine Daisy and Bear Grass. Eastward Views over Russell Creek are visible from a natural rocky gateway and continue to the first short climb through a bit of scree and dense Balsam. Reaching height of land, expect to see down over Thompsons alpine rockfall and over the city of Creston. The ridgeline descends and then climbs, following cairns over a short scree section before reaching the trails end at a repeater station. Panoramic views abound, from here you can see West over the Selkirks, North into the Purcells, East to Yahk and Moyie and South into Northern Idaho. The elevation of the south peak is 2176 m or 40 m higher than the north peak with all of the communication towers. The campsite or the new trail head for the Rim Trail is at 2116 m. ​ Access: From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, head southeast on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook. At roughly 5.8 km, turn right at Canyon-Lister Road. Continue on this road, and turn left onto Whimster Road after about 1 km. Follow Whimster Road until it’s end—keep left to continue onto Mount Thompson FSR. Stay on this well maintained gravel road for 10.5 km. Right before the last pitch to the top of Mount Thompson, take the short spur to the right for 150 m to the Mt Thompson Campsite and park at the trail head adjacent to the camping area. Trailhead Access from town: 45 minutes–1 hour Hiking Time (Return): 3½–5 hours Elevation gain: 350 meters Distance (Return): 7.4 km Download Map Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point

  • Forest Recreation | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BACK Forest Recreation Explore the scenic trails of the Creston Community Forest and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty! We proudly manage and maintain a variety of trails in the Creston area, including Lady Slipper, Thompson Rim Trail, Thompson Rotary Trail, Thompson Pack Trail, Big Bear Viewpoint, Billy Goat Bluffs, Gliders’ Point and the West Ridge Trail. As trail stewards, we ensure our trails are well-maintained, clearly marked with signage, and accessible during the snow-free months. These trails are open to the public for non-motorized use, such as hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news and opportunities to get involved. Join our online community and be the first to know. Sign up today! Enter your email here Sign Up Thanks for submitting!

  • Big Bear Viewpoint | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BIG BEAR VIEWPOINT Check out our newest rec site—the Big Bear Viewpoint, which is located on the Big Bear forestry road. ​ Directions: Head north out of Creston, resetting your trip meter at the Highway 3/3A junction (beside Tim Hortons), continue heading north on Highway 3A for 4km. Turn right onto Lakeview-Arrow Creek Rd. Keep right at the intersection at 5.3km. At 7.4km turn left onto the Big Bear Forest Service Road. Reset your trip meter here. Keep right at the 0.5km junction. At the 5.5km junction turn right. You will arrive at the viewpoint at 5.9km. ​ At the viewpoint you will find a picnic table and a short trail which leads down to a rocky viewpoint. The elevation of the viewpoint is 1380m (600m above the Lakeview-Arrow Creek Road). Views of Arrow Mountain, Thompson Mountain and the Arrow Creek Watershed, as well as the Creston Valley and south into Idaho. Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point

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