Regional district briefs

Community forest update

Representatives from the McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest provided an update on their operations.

The community forest was established in 2009 and covers an area larger than 24,000 hectares of public forested land. It is a partnership of the District of Mackenzie and the McLeod Lake Indian band.

Over the years, activity have been focused on harvesting timber impacted by the pine beetle. 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 grant funding to local organizations.

Wildfire mitigation grants

In light of a record-breaking year for forest fires, the regional district will explore a variety of funding opportunities offered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) to mitigate the risks associated with wildfire in our region. The Regional District will seek funding for a variety of prevention and preparedness initiatives.

Initial funding requests will be focused on:

- evaluating wildfire risks with an objective to empower residents to act on their properties,

- leveraging additional sources of grant funding to assist in development of community protection and response plans,

- integration of plans and projects with adjacent local governments and First Nations.

Economic development agreement

The regional district will be renewing a contract with the City of Prince George for economic development services.

As part of the agreement, the city will act as the primary point of contact for site selectors and potential business Investors, building relationships by responding to specific requests and undertaking follow-up as necessary.

They will also provide relevant information to potential investors, including site/parcel information, regional economic information and advice on general development considerations, and act as the liaison between potential investors and relevant stakeholders, coordinating meetings and delegations as required.

The agreement is through to the end of 2019.

Community grants

The board approved the following requests for community and recreation grants:

• $9600 to the Ness Lake Recreation Commission for address signs and operating expenses

• $3000 to the Pineview Recreation Commission for a Halloween event

• $2028 to the Valemount Lions Club for land registration expenses