CRD hands off Forest Capital designation to province

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) handed off the Forest Capital of Canada designation to the province of British Columbia

Marking the end of Cariboo Regional District's reign as the 2010/11 Forest Capital of Canada

Marking the end of Cariboo Regional District's reign as the 2010/11 Forest Capital of Canada

On Feb. 22, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) handed off the Forest Capital of Canada designation to the province of British Columbia to celebrate the centenary of the BC Forest Service in 2012.

For the past two years, the CRD has proudly served as Canada’s Forest Capital, hosting a celebration of the region’s forest resources.

A ceremony took place at the Association of BC Forest Professionals Convention in Victoria with Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson accepting the Forest Capital plaque from CRD chair Al Richmond and Director John Massier.

Throughout its reign as the 2010/11 Forest Capital of Canada the CRD brought awareness to the Cariboo Chilcotin forest land base through a number of different projects and events. The regional district’s Forest Capital program focused on five key industries: non-timber forest products, value-added wood products, bio-energy, eco-tourism and agriculture.

“With the decline of the forest industry, as a result of the [United States] housing recession and the impact of the mountain pine beetle infestation, the regional district saw the Forest Capital of Canada program as an opportunity to look to the future and promote new, non-traditional industries emerging in forestry,” said Richmond.”

The CRD’s reign as the Forest Capital of Canada got off to a great start, as it was launched during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast pavilion at BC Street. This venue showcased the many facets of the region’s forests to 475,000 spectators.

Throughout the past two years, the CRD published a commemorative magazine, Our Backyard – Forests of the Cariboo Chilcotin, which focused on the various non-traditional aspects of the forest industry through stories, poetry and photography for travellers, investors and residents wanting to learn more about local initiatives.

The CRD also hosted a Forest Capital Speaker Series and hosted National Forest Week activities throughout the region, planting seedlings, and sponsoring various community events, says Richmond.

“We consider the last two years to have been a success; our holistic approach to forestry looked at all of the economic opportunities the forest land base offers. Even with our extremely limited budget and small-scale projects, we were able to reach a large audience with our message.”

The CRD directors and staff thank the Canadian Forestry Association, the more than 65 community partners and sponsors who made the Forest Capital program possible, and the CRD Forest Capital Committee chair, former Electoral Area E Director, Steve Mazur.

Further information about the Forest Capital of Canada can be found online at www.canadianforestry.com.

For more information on the 2012 BC Forest Service’s centenary celebrations, visit www.bcfs100.ca.