BC forest dependent communities are strongly influenced by the stewardship of local/regional forests. Long-term forest stewardship decisions regarding the local/regional forest are critical in moving toward community resiliency and the continued support for local families, businesses, and communities. Consequently, communities are entitled to have a say at the strategic level in land use and forest stewardship of their local/regional forests. To be effective in this regard, it is essential a structural organization within the community and a mechanism to provide meaningful engagement on a continuous basis with decision-makers (Government and industry) regarding their views, concerns and current and future needs occurs.
Under the current legislation and policy framework, Municipal Governments and communities can influence strategic decisions regarding local/regional forest lands as outlined in https://www.bcforestconversation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Influence-through-public-consultation.pdf. Taking advantage of these instruments, communities can also capitalize on the critical need for corporations and politicians to demonstrate they have the social license for their actions related to forest resources.
Community influence can go beyond just reacting to Government or industry proposed plans. It requires being proactive and identifying what the residents want from their local/regional forests. Achieving this overall goal requires arming communities and concerned citizens with information relative to the mechanisms and actions currently available for them to influence decisions. This is a primary reason why HFHC is focused on building forestry knowledge and understanding within communities.