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W.L. Community Forest needs standing committee volunteers

Gail Wallin (right) from Management Plus Consultants, facilitating a community meeting in Big Lake in May about the Williams Lake Community Forest. - Photo submitted
Gail Wallin (right) from Management Plus Consultants, facilitating a community meeting in Big Lake in May about the Williams Lake Community Forest.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The Williams Lake Community Forest directors are seeking nominations for and/or volunteers to sit on the project’s advisory standing committee.

The deadline on nominations and expressions of interest for this committee is Sept. 8, says the community forest manager Ken Day in calling for the submissions.

The standing committee will be comprised of 10 seats including a chair.

One of the standing committee’s first jobs will be to provide input on the draft terms of reference for the standing committee and to become familiar with the diverse management goals and objectives of the community forest, Day notes.

The Williams Lake Community Forest is a partnership of the Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake which has accepted government’s offer of a community forest agreement. The forest area is comprised of two blocks.

The Potato Mountain block spans an area between the Likely and Horsefly Roads from Potato Mountain north to Beaver Valley. The Flat Rock block overlooks the Fraser River just west of the City of Williams Lake.

Communities within this area include Big Lake, Horsefly, Miocene, 150 Mile, Williams Lake Indian Band, City of Williams Lake, Esler, Moore Mountain, Chilcotin Road, Wilwoo, Pine Valley, Fox Mountain, Commodore Heights, Mountview, Chimney Valley, Flett, South Lakeside, North Lakeside.

Based on input received at community meetings held in May and June, Day says the directors have revised the draft terms of reference for the standing committee.

The purpose of the standing committe will be to identify resource values and interests for consideration in management of the Williams Lake Community Forest and to convey these recommendations to the board of directors.

The standing committee will also encourage and support meaningful consultation with residents, communities and resource users.

The directors are seeking individuals who have a specific interest in the land area of the Williams Lake Community Forest and who can bring knowledge from one or more key interests important to the management of the community forest.

The goal is to have a committee of individuals with a broad representation of community interests who can work collaboratively to provide recommendations to assist in planning and managing the W.L. Community Forest.

It is proposed that the standing committee meet two to four times a year, with more meetings at the initiation of the process.

The standing committee would also hold at least one annual meeting with residents, community leaders and resources users who may include ranchers, miners, salvage loggers, guide/outfitters, water users, recreationists, residents, general public, etc.

The community forest manager, or staff designate will attend the standing committee meetings and community engagement sessions.

Meetings will be scheduled to best accommodate committee members and would most likely be in the evenings.

“Please feel free to volunteer yourself or to nominate another individual to participate in this important work,” Day says.

Information packages on how to volunteer or nominate someone for the standing committee are available at wlcommunityforest@shaw.ca

Nominations should be returned to wlcommunityforest@shaw.ca or by fax to 250-398-5708 by Sept. 8.

For more information on the community forest visit http://williamslakecommunityforest.wordpress.com.

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