WFN’s forestry tenures consist of a mix of immature and mature forest. The primary species on these forests are: lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, and balsam. Timber is harvested and sold to local sawmills that produce dimensional lumber primarily for the domestic and US markets.
Water is a precious commodity in the Okanagan, and WFN manages its harvesting operations to protect water quality. Whether it’s streamside retention areas or road construction and maintenance procedures, the protection of water quality is paramount.
Community Watersheds: Over 60 percent of the WFN Community Forest (WFN-CF) is located in registered community watersheds, which provide drinking and irrigation water to the City of West Kelowna and the District of Peachland. Approximately 15 percent of the WFN-CF is within the Pennask Creek Watershed, a provincially and nationally significant fisheries watershed that produces virtually all of the rainbow trout used to stock lakes in British Columbia.
Many of the drainages in our forests contain resident fish populations, including trout. Professional biologists assess our streams and habitats to determine their potential as fish habitat. All drainages are provided with the appropriate level of protection in the form of timber retention.
A recent membership survey suggested that wildlife and wildlife habitat management is one of the most important WFN values on its landbase. Harvesting plans will incorporate measures where required to protect or enhance wildlife habitat through practices ranging from partial cutting in Mule Deer Winter Range to creating windrows and piles of coarse woody debris after harvesting for small mammals.
A Cultural Heritage Assessment is completed by WFN staff early in the planning process. These assessments look at the cultural and archaeological potential of the site, whether it’s an area presently used for berry picking or the harvesting of medicinal plants, or whether it was a site used historically as a fishing camp or village site.