McBride Community Forest sets goals for success

Dianne St. Jean

On Sept. 21 the annual general meeting of the McBride Community Forest opened with a report by General Manager Gene Runtz.

The report began with the statement that 2017 saw a far more stable MCFC Board due to less changes in membership. Currently the Board still has one seat to fill.

“While there has been a steep learning curve on many issues, I am pleased to report that Board and Committee meetings are very productive and carried out in a positive collaborative environment. I believe we have turned a significant corner and can look forward to a brighter future.”

Although in 2017 MCFC reported a loss of $88,453, this was significantly less than the previous two years, with a loss, for example, of almost $360,000 in 2016. Sales revenue increased from $1,607,575 in 2016 to $2,345,458 in 2017, however, any revenue is impacted due to reduced harvest volumes, legal expenses and inventory costs. Despite these challenges, the MCFC is expected to turn a profit in 2018.

To help this turnaround, in April, 2017 the MCFC began a proposal for Inventory and Timber Supply, outsourcing information and costs on updated aerial photos and interpretation (in 2018 new technology called “LiDAR” – Light Detection and Ranging was introduced. It is accurate within 20 cm and allows the categorization of multi layers of tree heights and species). Through the Rural Dividend Fund the proposal was completed and, although there were delays, the grant was approved for $100,000. The analysis from this data will help them complete a Timber Supply Review.

 

Recreation and community support

Despite its challenges, the MCFC still contributed over $10,000 to the community in 2017 that included: maintenance of the LaSalle Lake, Beaver and Halfway Lookout Recreation sites; plowing of the Belle Mountain Road to the parking lot – access for the Ski and Snowmobile Clubs; the Robson Valley Chapter of the BCHBC – funding letter of support, trails and Poker Run donation; Robson Valley Mountain Bike Assoc. – funding letter of support, use Teare Mountain for trail sites; Fraser Headwaters Alliance – funding letter of support; McBride Mustang basketball teams - $500 and firewood; McBride Elks Pioneer Days; McBride Secondary - $1,000 Scholarship, Yearbook; RDFFG – Arena Boards; McBride Figure Skating Club – Carnival; McBride Curling Club – rink boards; and Robson Valley Sports Club – insurance.