Communities discuss role of local forests on mid-Vancouver Island at VIU

September 2, 2011 - 2:45am

On Sept. 29, 2011, the Canadian Institute of Forestry, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve, and Vancouver Island University are sponsoring a Community Dialogue Session for local residents in Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Qualicum.

The purpose of the session is to discuss and document community perspectives on the roles of local forests in contributing to the wellbeing of local communities.

The September 29 session will be held at VIU Nanaimo Campus, Building 356, Room 111, 6pm–9pm.

Organizers hope to attract input from a range of forest users on questions such as:

What kinds of goods and services does our community need from local forests for our social, cultural, and economic well-being?

What do we perceive as the major obstacles that stand in the way of realizing these needs?

What specific actions could we take to overcome these obstacles?

What key messages do we want to send to decision makers?

Similar sessions have been held in six BC communities to date, and many others are planned for the fall. All are contributing to the Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities initiative, a non-partisan, volunteer-supported effort to inform decision-making on BC’s forest lands.

With a view to providing the most up-to-date knowledge on the state of British Columbia’s natural resources, BC leaders have prepared background briefs on a range of forest values and uses. These and summaries from the Community Dialogue Sessions, are available at

For more information on the Mid-Vancouver Island Dialogue Session contact:

Michel Vallee, RPF

VIU Forestry Department


Karen Hunter

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve



In a changing world, it is a challenge for resource managers to know if today’s policies and regulations are resulting in sustainable forest use – for industry, communities, families and future generations.

Through consultation and dialogue with natural resource experts and local communities (including practicing forestry and biology professionals, Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals), the Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities: A conversation on BC forests initiative aims to inform decision-makers about the people’s vision for the forest lands of BC, identifying areas for improving long-term sustainable management to achieve their goals.

Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities is a non-partisan, volunteer-supported initiative intended to capture the concerns and recommendations of experts and community members to enable informed decision-making for forest lands management in BC.

Scientific data and public opinion captured through the initiative will provide vital information for responding to climate change, supporting the economy, enhancing community resilience, and creating lasting natural resource policies for forest lands management in the province.

Securing background information from experts in the field and creating opportunities for citizen dialogue will result in a vision for BC’s forest lands that can be used by decision-makers, Aboriginals and stakeholders. The public’s future vision of forest lands will help shape policies, regulations and legislation for sustainable forest management in BC. Informed decision-making will ensure healthy forests and healthy communities for a brighter BC future.

Through Background Briefs (available at ), experts are providing evidence-based input on the status of BC’s natural resources, and their concerns for sustainable forest management.

Communities are gathering in regional Dialogue Sessions to identify and register local concerns for the future of BC’s forest lands. Together, experts and citizens are joining to provide opinions on the preferred future for the province’s forest resources.

The Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities initiative will help inform policy to ensure BC’s forest lands can continue to provide cultural and spiritual places, food, medicine, clean water, clean air and resources for community livelihood, and habitat for biodiversity, in particular to counter the effects of climate change.

The following Partners have lent their name and support to the initiative:

• Canadian Institute of Forestry

• Outdoor Recreation Council of BC

• BC Forests Society

• Cariboo Regional District

• Selkirk College School of Renewable Resources

• Simon Fraser University Centre for Sustainable Community Development

• Simon Fraser University School of Resource and Environmental Management

• Thompson Rivers University Department of Natural Resource Science

• UBC Faculty of Forestry

• Vancouver Island University Department of Forest Resources Technology

• Vancouver Foundation

• Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve

Community Dialogue Sessions

The Canadian Institute of Forestry and Regional Partners of the Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities initiative are hosting Community Dialogue Sessions to capture the public’s vision for a sustainable future. Check for current information on session dates and venues.

Tags: In the Community

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