WFN Community Forest
In August 2004, Westbank First Nation (WFN) entered into a five-year agreement with the British Columbia Ministry of Forests for a Community Forest Pilot Agreement.
The WFN Community Forest (WFN-CF) covers over 46,000 hectares in two parcels, one directly west of the communities of West Kelowna and Peachland and the other just northwest of Big White. The WFN-CF boundaries balance forest management with traditional use by the Westbank First Nation people for hunting, trapping, food gathering and spiritual use. This agreement entitles WFN to a defined area on which it may operate.
Lodgepole pine, which is the primary host for mountain pine beetle, makes up approximately 46 percent of our current forest inventory. In 2005, the mountain pine beetle rapidly moved toward the WFN-CF from the north and west. Since the winter of 2005/06, Ntityix Resources LP has focused harvesting on stands that contain more than 40 percent lodgepole pine. In January 2007, the harvest level was increased to 85,000 cubic metres per year to help address the growing mountain pine beetle issue. Currently the long-term sustainable level is 55,000 cubic metres.
In July of 2009, WFN and the province of B.C. replaced the five-year pilot license with a 25-year Community Forest Agreement licence, renewable every 10 years. This longer-term license provides WFN with the security to undertake more long-term initiatives on the Community Forest.
In the fall of 2009, a second block, the Derickson Block, was added to the WFN-CF, located east of Kelowna, adjacent to the West Kettle River. The Derickson Block area has been used by WFN families for generations.
Annual allowable cut (AAC): 55,000 cubic meters per year. The AAC is based on an analysis that of forest’s capacity to grow trees over a 250-year time horizon.