Trees are putting some green into municipal coffers.
At their regular meeting May 4, the Town of Port McNeill council learned they will be receiving a $75,000 dividend from the North Island Community Forest Limited Partnership.
The North Island contains some of the most productive forests in Canada, and the North Island’s sustainability is inextricably tied to the sustainability of the forest.
It has been a long-standing community goal to gain greater certainty over its management by directly managing the resources on which it depends.
The North Island Community Forest is a cooperative of three communities, Port Alice, Port Hardy and Port McNeill.
The goal of the North Island Community Forest is to maximize revenues and return funds to the three communities where each council decides what to do with them.
Port Alice and Port Hardy also received cheques for $75,000.
The North Island Community Forest gains access to an area-based forest tenure covering approximately 2,400 hectares.
A Community Forest Agreement is an opportunity for the people of the North Island to become the land stewards.
The community forest is managed to achieve broad sustainability goals. The North Island Community Forest includes three separate operating areas near Alice Lake, Marble River and Quatse Lake.
The Alice Lake operating area is approximately 1,300 hectares in size, the Marble River area is 650 hectares and the Quatse Lake area is 425 hectares.
The Annual Allowable Cut for the North Island Community Forest is based on specified forest management practices and forest inventory information.
The cut is 10,000 cubic metres per year of coniferous timber and 400 cubic metres of deciduous timber.
The North Island Community Forest is at the end of its first five-year annual allowable cut and cannot harvest anymore timber until it has been renewed.
Council agreed to put the funds into a reserve account and save it for a significant project. Prior to this dividend, there was $300,000 in the account.
“What kind of interest are we getting on this money,” asked Councillor Graham MacDonald.
“Pretty much nothing,” said Treasurer Dan Rodin.