Nakusp has been fortunate enough to have a community-owned forest company for nearly 10 years.
Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR) is invested in the long-term economic development of the community. Quite literally, because their sole shareholder is the Village of Nakusp. All profits are redistributed to the community, and there’s extra motivation to incorporate local input into decisions and encourage community participation and education and research.
“Open houses are less intimidating,” said President Kathy Smith, who appreciates that the informal setting can encourage people to talk more.
In 2018 NACFOR will be delving into questions about how they measure their success in terms of their responsibility to the community.
“Are we meeting our social goals to promote community stability and community involvement? How are we doing with that? Are we ensuring stability of area foresters? Are we succeeding?” These are the kinds of questions that Kathy said the company will be looking into this year.
NACFOR supports forestry education and projects such as trail building.
“It makes you think creatively,” said forest manager Hugh Watt about working for a company that delivers more than just financial earnings. The profits must meet the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental benefits.
In 2017, NACFOR logged 88.7 hectares – or 889 truck loads – of timber and created the equivalent of 11 full-time local jobs. They donated more than $50,000 to community projects.