Growing socioeconomic sustainability through Community-Based Forest Management in British Columbia
Despite widespread reports of the benefits of Community-Based Forest Management, there is little empirical evidence regarding socioeconomic outcomes for local communities. The purpose of my research was to consider the extent of innovation and sustainability in Community Forestry approaches in British Columbia, Canada. Data was collected through a qualitative case study focusing on the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society and the Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation, and involved document review, participant observation and interviews with community members. Key socioeconomic benefits identified were additional silviculture, local employment, local participation, grant distribution, and strategic partnerships. Although increased local control through grants increases quality of life, innovative practices and diversification opportunities are underdeveloped and require greater policy support to ensure continued success. Findings point to community forests as holding potential to increase the socioeconomic sustainability of local communities, which could make them key players in support for rural areas beyond forestry.