The Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations was in Duncan yesterday to extend an invitation to the proponents of the Qala:yit Community Forest to apply for a new Community Forest Agreement.
The Qala:yit Community Forest is a partnership between the Pacheedaht First Nation and Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative. They say they have been working toward this goal for close to a decade.
Steve Thomson says the invitation is to apply for approximately 8  thousand hectares of crown land between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew to be managed as a community forest.
Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest says this agreement would greatly benefit the community.
As part of the application, The Qala:yit Community Forest will need to demonstrate community awareness and support, and submit a management plan.
The agreement would be the first that allows for a new form of partnership with BC Timber Sales through a reduced volume condition.