The MLMCF Forest License is an ‘Area Based Tenure’ which means that the license is specific to a defined area of forest land and the Licensee has exclusive rights to harvest in those areas.
We manage a gross area of approximately 24,200 hectares in 5 separate units called Dastaiga, Parsnip, Gagnon, Cut Thumb, and Morfee.
The Community Forest’s operations are guided by:
- Forest Stewardship Plan
- Forest Management Plan (new plan will be in place mid-winter 2017/2018)
- Forest Operations Plan (under development)
- MLMCF Annual Report 2017 (May 2018)
- MLMCF Annual Report 2016
Highlights So Far
It has been nearly 20 years since the concept of a Community Forest partnership between the McLeod Lake Indian Band and the District of Mackenzie was proposed in a 1997 report. In 2003 the District of Mackenzie and the McLeod Lake Indian Band began discussion leading to the formation of a Community Forest (CF) held by one of the first partnerships between a First Nations and a Municipality. Community Forest License K2M was awarded to the McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest (MLMCF) Limited Partnership in August 2009, just in time for the economic recession.
Initially, the MLMCF hired a forestry consultant to develop mandatory Forest Stewardship and Management Plan documents for public review and government approval. By November 2011 the Community Forest began its first harvesting operations and delivered almost 70,000 m³ by the end of 2013. In 2013 a consultant was hired to create a plan to salvage Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) killed pine in the community forest.
The allowable annual cut (AAC) for the community forest was initially calculated as 30,000m³ per year but in 2014 the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations approved a temporary increase allowing 340,000 m³ to be harvested between 2014 and 2018 in order to salvage dead pine and other harvesting for forest health objectives.
The community forest has been very successful at achieving this goal; harvesting 262,000 m³ from 2014 to 2016. Almost all dead pine has been salvaged and the community forest has now switched focus to the sanitaion harvesting of spruce bark beetle damaged stands.
In 2017 the AAC will be re-calculated but is expected to return to its pre-uplift amount of approximately 30,000 m³ commencing in 2018.
The community forest has become quite successful and, to date, has been able to provide $1 million each to the McLeod Lake Indian Band and the District of Mackenzie and is currently providing about $100,000 per year in funding to local organizations.
While profitability for a community forest can be measured in cash, no less important are more intangible benefits such as the long-term health and sustainability of our forest, employment, recreation and development opportunities for community members and harmony with all the other users of the forest.
- Completing a re-inventory of the community forest and carrying out a timber supply analysis which will enable us to determine the appropriate long-term harvest rate (AAC).
- Partnering with the District of Mackenzie in updating Mackenzie’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan to include a 2-km buffer around the township in the plan area.
- Working on plans to expand the area of the community forest.
- Harvesting will be restricted to the sanitation and salvage logging of spruce bark beetle stands.
- Utilization of Coarse Woody Debris (CWD) remaining after harvesting to create continuous windrows of CWD. This creates habitat for prey species such as mice and voles and a travel corridor for predators such as marten. The community forest is monitoring the efficacy of these windrows and the results so far have been very positive.