The Alberni Valley Community Forest continues to pay dividends for the City of Port Alberni—most recently with a $300,000 cheque.
Members of the Alberni Valley Community Forest (AVCF) Corporation were in council chambers on Monday, Oct. 25 to present the city with a cheque, despite the fact that there were no timber sales in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to achieve profits from our operations,” said chairman Jim Sears. “The dividend was awarded even though we did not realize any revenues from logging, as our production did not take place until early this year. We’re still maintaining a healthy, retained earning, so that we can take advantage of opportunities.”
The community forest is made up of two parcels of land in the Sproat Lake Community Watershed within Tree Farm Licence 44. The community forest was formed in 2009 to put control of land and resources into local hands, while creating a viable timber and non-timber forest resource business. The City of Port Alberni is the sole owner of the community forest, which is held and operated by the AVCF Corporation. Past dividends have been used for projects benefiting the Alberni Valley.
Mayor Sharie Minions pointed out that last year’s dividend of $2 million allowed the city to purchase the former Somass Sawmill lands earlier this year.
“We’re very fortunate to have your group working on our behalf,” she told Sears on Oct. 25. “We just really feel privileged to have you working with us and showing the community how logging can be done, balanced with recreation and all the other values we hold dear in our community.”
Sears noted that the public has been using the community forest “more than ever” for outdoor recreation since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in early 2020.