After enjoying the designation of Forest Capital of Canada for the past two years, the Cariboo Regional District handed over that feather in its cap to the province of British Columbia on Feb. 22.
During a ceremony at the Association of BC Forest Professional’s Convention in Victoria, CRD chair Al Richmond and director John Massier handed a plaque to Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations.
Between 2010-2011, the CRD raised awareness about the Cariboo Chilcotin forest land base through a number of projects and events that focused on non-timber forest products, value-added wood products, bio-energy, eco-tourism and agriculture.
In a press release from the CRD, Richmond said with the decline of the forest industry as a result of the U.S. housing recession and the impact of the mountain pine beetle infestation, the CRD saw the Forest Capital of Canada program as an opportunity to look to the future and promote new, non-traditional industries emerging in forestry.
One of the projects saw the CRD publish a commemorative magazine Our Backyard — Forests of the Cariboo Chilcotin, that focused on non-traditional aspects of the forest industry through stories, poetry and photography, with the intent of providing information to travellers, investors and residents.
The CRD also hosted a Forest Capital Speakers series and initiated various National Forest Week activities throughout the region.
“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,” Richmond said.