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--  Forest Manageent Suplement  --

Slocan in IFPA with other companies

As part of their overall ecological approach to harvesting, the Slocan division is involved in an innovative and, so far, unique project that aims to benefit all forestry stakeholders. Along with its four Slocan Valley partners — Riverside Forest Products, Kalesnikoff Lumber, Bell Pole and Atco Lumber – Slocan holds the only Innovative Forest Practices Agreement (IFPA) plan in place in BC.

The idea behind an IFPA, introduced by the BC government in 1996, is that all stakeholders should benefit from intensive forest management. The productivity of the forests is increased, resulting in more fibre for the mills and increased stability for jobs and the industry itself. The big lure for forest companies is that they have the opportunity to increase their harvest by carrying out intensive forestry and alternative harvesting.

"From an operational standpoint, our number one issue is access and avail-ability to timber," says Slocan forester Alex Ferguson. "That means we have to do a balancing act with our forest man-agement plan between the social values, the ecological values and our own economic needs."

IFPAs are awarded based on a number of stringent criteria and Ferguson believes a large part of the reason why Slocan and the other companies won theirs is the huge amount of effort that went into that balancing act and the consideration they gave social and ecological aspects. And that was only the start. They have since spent more than a year developing a forestry plan that recently won approval.

"It’s been an incredible effort on the part of the licencees and the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Environment who worked with us to get the forestry plan completed and approved," says Ferguson.

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