The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and Fort Nelson First Nation has released a FAQ regarding the Community Forest. The Community Forest will be a commercial forest within the NRRM. The Demonstration Forest will fall within it's boundaries however there is no link to the Community Trails. Please see below for the full FAQ or click here for the pdf
Fort Nelson Community Forest
Frequently Asked Questions (FA Q’s)
The Fort Nelson Community Forest (FNCF) involves
a partnership between the Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM).
a. What is the organizational structure for the Fort Nelson Community Forest?
The Partners (FNFN and
the NRRM) have chosen
a limited partnership agreement model
to structure their relationship
this significant opportunity and have negotiated the
terms of that relationship.
b. How will the interests of each Partner be represented?
FNFN has decided that its affiliate FNFN Forestry
Limited Partnership (“FNFLP”) will
party that represents FNFN’s interest in
the partnership, while the NRRM
to represent its own interests directly.
c. What are the key documents that govern the Community Forest Agreement (CFA) partnership between FNFN Forestry and the NRRM?
There are three key documents
(the “Corporate Documents”) that govern
are as follows:
Partnership (“CF LP”);
- Limited Partnership Agreement creating the FNFN/NRRM Community Forest Limited
- Shareholders Agreement between FNFLP, NRRM and a new jointly-owned corporation, the FNFN/NRRM Community Forest General Partner Corporation (“CF Corp”); and
- Articles for the CF Corp.
d. Why choose a CFA limited partnership structure?
The limited partnership structure
is ideally suited
to this type of
a partnership between
a First Nation controlled entity
and a local government.
It is designed
to limit the liability of the
Partners (FNFLP and NRRM), and
to allow FNFN and NRRM
to take advantage of their respective
e. Who or what entity will be making the business decisions for the Partnership?
As the general partner, CF Corp will
all decisions of the business. CF Corp will
be a corporation under the Business Corporations
and as such
is a legal “person”
separate from its shareholders, FNFLP and NRRM.
As a corporation, CF Corp offers
its shareholders liability protection.
As shareholders, FNFLP and NRRM will
exercise control of CF Corp through
their respective appointment of directors
to the CF Corp Board.
f. Should CF Corp experience financial losses, who will be responsible for them?
The Limited Partnership Agreement between the Partners protects
loss. Each partner would
only be liable for
losses up to and including the amount of their capital contribution
to the Partnership. In
the case of
this would be limited
to the value
associated with the CFA tenure. CF Corp
is a limited liability corporation that serves
from liability associated with the operation of CFA.
g. How many directors will be appointed to CF Corp?
The number of directors
legally proposed for CF Corp
is four (4); two (2)
to represent FNFN
and two (2)
to represent the NRRM.
In general, the number of directors for CF Boards
varies, ranging from three (3) to seven (7).
believe that the proposed number provides efficiencies and will
If the number of Directors of CF Corp becomes
an issue in the future,
a change can
be made at any time, with the agreement of the Partners.
h. When will the directors of CF Corp be appointed?
are currently working within their respective organizations
to finalize and appoint directors to the Board of CF Corp.
i. Is there an opportunity for members of the public to sit on the Board of Directors of CF Corp?
At this time the Board of Directors will consist of two
members from each of
the partner organizations. This could include members of the public.
j. What qualifications will Directors have to possess?
It is expected that the Partners will
be looking for Directors that
have some experience
in the forest sector and/or good business experience.
k. Who will manage the day-to-day business activities of CF Corp?
Once the Board of Directors of CF Corp
is appointed, one of their initial tasks will
determine an appropriate management structure for the Community Forest (CF).
This will likely
by the end of
l. Now that the Partners have spent 16 months working on developing the CF Agreement, what is the health of their relationship?
As demonstrated openly
at the two Community Forums
held at the Phoenix Theatre in October of 2017 and
May of 2018, the partnership
has developed substantially and
a solid foundation of
trust and collaboration has
already been built and continues to positively evolve.
m. Why was the Prophet River First Nation (PRFN) not part of the Community Forest partnership?
The Community Forest lies primarily within
the traditional territory of the
has been communication with PRFN about the Community Forest
and in particular,
This communication will continue
a priority for
as the Community Forest
2.Community Forest Agreement (CFA)
When did the Partners receive a letter of invitation from the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO)?
The partners received
a letter of invitation to apply for
a Community Forest Agreement (CFA)
in the Fort Nelson Timber Supply
Area (FNTSA) on March
b. What is the timing for the CFA application to be submitted to the government?
The Partners plan to
the final application package
to the government on
or before September
c. What volume of timber was allocated to the Community Forest by the Province? Why isn’t it greater?
The Province offered the Partners
per year. This
is 25,000 m3 higher than what was originally discussed.
The Fort Nelson Community Forest (FNCF)
will be the largest community forest tenure offered
by the Province. The size of
the CF could increase over time; however, the Partners
believe it is important
a foundation of success
at the current allocated size before an increase in volume
d. How much conifer and how much deciduous can be harvested?
The invitation from the Province stated that
no more than 100,000 m3 per
year could be harvested
from coniferous leading stands leaving 85,000 m3
per year to be harvested from deciduous leading stands.
is to harvest
a volume that matches the timber profile of
e. What stumpage rates and/or rents will the Community Forest have to pay?
The FNCF will have
to pay tabular stumpage
rates as set out in
the Interior Appraisal Manual (July
. Currently that
is approximately $1.17/m3 for conifer sawlogs (Spruce) and
$0.50/m3 for deciduous fibre
(primarily Aspen). The Community Forest Agreement annual rent
is $0.37/m3 of allowable annual cut determined for the community forest
agreement area (excludes the volume attributed
to the BCTS volume reservation).
f. How can the potential future need for agriculture land be accommodated within the CF?
In the future, should some of the CF
area be required for agriculture purposes, boundary adjustments can
be discussed with
the Province so that specific CF
areas needed for agriculture could exchanged for
other equivalent forested areas.
g. Why isn’t there a CF Business Plan included in the draft Management Plan?
Plan for the CF
is “Confidential” in that it will have information
in it that needs
be kept confidential for business competitive reasons.
h. Can the CF have a stated objective of wildfire protection too?
the CF will
have a given objective related to wildfire protection. This will
be developed and incorporated into the final CFA application through the included Management Plan.
Province- wide, over
100 rural communities and First Nations
are engaged in community forest management and there
are also more than 800 Woodlot Licenses. Many work
to reduce fuel
loading in their forests to reduce
the threat of catastrophic wildfires. Their experience in planning, administering
and implementing investments
in the land
base will hopefully encourage the Province to
look more closely
at the critical role that community forests and woodlot licenses can play.
i. When do you expect the CFA license/tenure to be issued?
expect that the Ministry (Ministry of
Forests, Lands, Natural
and Rural Development) will
issue the CFA tenure before
the end of 2018.
3.BC Timber Sales
Why include BC Timber Sales (BCTS) as a partner in the CFA?
The area selected for
the FNCF included some of BCTS
pricing unit areas.
As a result,
it is Provincial policy that
be established, and hence
a partnership with BCTS
be included in
the Community Forest. The alternative would
be to exclude the overlapping
areas, and thereby reduce the area and timber volume assigned
CF. The CFA Partners considered
to deal with
the volume reservation requirements and eventually agreed
a percentage of BCTS
area within the CFA boundary.
b. What were the benefits discussed that led to a decision that included BCTS as a partner in the Community Forest?
There are a number of operational efficiencies gained
by partnering with BCTS.
but are not limited
to additional high-quality wood, cost sharing on such
operations as cruising
and road layout,
bridge construction and silviculture activities.
c. What are BCTS’s plans to sell timber from their volume reservation?
Once the CFA tenure
has been issued the CF Corp will work closely with BCTS
to identify timber sales opportunities that BCTS can put on the market.
The exact timing of that sales activity
has yet to be determined and will be up
to determine the best
time to bring that fibre to market.
What are the plans for communication/engagement with the public after the CFA tenure has been issued?
in an open and transparent manner. It
is envisioned that several methods will
be utilized to provide information
the communities regarding the operations of the CF. CF Corp will
be tasked with
developing a comprehensive communications strategy.
b. Can the FNCF be managed for more than just timber?
The Partners intend
the community forest for
a range of
non-timber values including
but not limited
to wildlife and biodiversity, water quality and
quantity, treaty rights, cultural/heritage resources, recreation
c. Have recreational objectives for the CF been discussed?
Recreation values and opportunities will be incorporated and managed for
in the context of
timber harvesting activities.
The Fort Nelson Demonstration Forest including the managed
this area, are but
one opportunity for improvement that the CF will
as the future activities of
the CF progress.
d. At the two Community Forum sessions the Partners heard a lot about the export of raw logs, i.e. the community is adamant about not allowing the export of raw logs. They want to see processing done in the community.
the guiding principles of
is the “Respect
for the belief that timber harvested
in the Fort Nelson Community Forest should
locally, at fair market value for
the logs.” It is hoped that
as much of the timber from the FNCF
as possible can
e. What educational/training objectives have been discussed related to the establishment of the FNCF?
The Partners will ensure that we
do our utmost to educate the community about
the operations of the CF. In addition, we will ensure that we provide training and support to increase harvesting capacity
in our area. A lot of this
capacity has been lost over the last
10 years. We will examine how
we can better incorporate training and education objectives into
the strategic direction taken
by the CF.
f. How will logs generated from the CF be priced? And will local enterprises get an opportunity to purchase those logs?
the price of logs generated from
the FNCF will
be at a level that covers all direct
and indirect costs including an allowance for profit margin. The exact pricing
by CF Corp.
It is envisioned that
local enterprises will
to purchase logs generated
by the CF at
fair market value for the
g. What are the intended markets for the timber harvested from the FNCF?
The exact markets for the fibre generated
from the CF are uncertain
time. However, the Partners anticipate that
local demand will materialize once
the FNCF operations
begin. The mill location
at which timber sold from
the CF will
be processed will be
an important factor influencing sales.
h. Have the Partners had talks/made arrangements with Canfor related to timber sales?
There have been
no formal discussions with Canfor regarding
the procurement of
i. Will CF Corp be required to prepare a Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP)?
The short answer
is yes. However,
if there was
a valid FSP
in place for BCTS and/or Canfor it could
be possible for the CF
to join onto that FSP.
j. When would you expect harvesting to begin on the FNCF?
The earliest that
is envisioned on the CF
is the winter of 2018/2019 and more
realistically the fall of
k. What is the intent for any profits made by CF Corp?
The CF Corp Board of Directors will work with their respective communities
to determine how
any profits can
be used in the local communities
a range of quality of life issues that could positively impact the health and
well-being of local residents.
l. Medical support issue: This question relates to the above question in that it was asked if funds generated by the CF could be used to support community medical issues such as pregnant women and their families having to leave the community to have their babies as it is costly for many couples?
Again, any profits generated
by the CF will be shared equally between the Partners. Financial support for medical related issues could
by the Partners (Shareholders) but
is up to each Partner
as to how
m. What type of employment opportunities will the FNCF provide/generate?
The Partners anticipate that there will
in all phases of
the CF operation including but not
limited to planning and layout, harvesting
and road building, hauling, log
yard activities and the
various silviculture related
Appurtenancy came up in the discussions in the context of Canfor’s non-use of its two tenures over the last 10 years (since 2008).
The BC Forest
Act as it relates
to “Appurtenancy” was modified in 2003.
The Partners will abide
by current Provincial laws
and statutes. The Partners
have no control over
the activities of Canfor and the operation on their licenses.
The CF, however, does
have the ability to
decide to whom
it sells its timber.
6.Boreal Caribou Considerations
BC Corp will incorporate whatever requirements
How will the CF, through CF Corp, manage for Boreal Caribou values?
are finalized through
the Province’s Boreal Caribou
Recovery and Implementation Plan.
the FNFN Medzih
be considered and integrated into the harvesting operations of the CF.
Holders and users of traplines
How will trapper’s rights and interests be incorporated into the management of the CF?
to the Partners.
It is the intent of
the Partners to actively
engage trapline holders to acquire input into CF operations
and interests effectively into CF related planning activities. This engagement
is already well underway.
b. One trapper was concerned that his entire trapline area within the CF boundary would be logged with the potential to wipe out his trapline.
The area within the CF boundary will be logged over
a long-term time frame.
It is envisioned that
one percent of
the forested land base of the CF would
be logged in
any given year.
This will allow
for the careful planning of
harvest areas of the CF
to be spread out over time and space.