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Our Footprint

[

 What is a Living Forest Community?
   Where will it work best?
   Why is the Living Forest Communities model important for regional and municipal     governments to consider?
   How do we work with municipalities, regional districts and community members     to implement this approach?

 ]

How do we work with municipalities, regional districts and community members to implement this approach?

The Land

Walk the land and observe
  • We walk the potential lands once a week for a year in order to observe the land in every season: we observe where the sun shines in winter, where the snow melts first, where the trees grow the fastest, etc. Our goal is to determine whether our model of light-on-the-land development of the land is possible and where that development could occur without impacting sensitive ecosystems, watercourses and wildlife corridors.
Complete a comprehensive audit of the ecological functioning of the land
  • We retain expert biological consultants to complete a comprehensive ecological baseline assessment of the land. Using the baseline information about vegetation, wildlife habitats, wildlife corridors, watercourses, fish and amphibian habitats and complex ecosystems, we are able to identify sensitive ecological areas that could be negatively impacted by development. Large tracts of forestland not only provide quality wildlife refuge and forage opportunities, but also act as critical steeping-stones or wildlife corridors in watersheds that have been fragmented by development.
Complete additional expert assessments of the land
  • Our audit process also includes a comprehensive archaeological field assessment to identify the archaeological resources within the site. Professional consultants as well as members of local First Nations are invited to the lands to provide input and guidance in the assessment.
  • Expert geotechnical engineers are hired to examine the geotechnical aspects of the site together with the groundwater resources in order to establish if development on the land is possible.
  • The forest attributes and characteristics are revealed during a comprehensive timber cruise that gathers information about species, age and volume of timber. This information helps our sustainable forestry professionals to establish a long-term vision for the forest and to develop a detailed forest management plan based on that vision. This forest management plan will be established in the registered ecoforestry conservation and ecological protection covenant and will be monitored by a reputable third party such as the Land Conservancy of Canada.
  • Finally, we retain expertise to determine the ground motor vehicle traffic situation in the community. We ask traffic impact consultants to provide a traffic impact analysis as well as recommendations to ameliorate any potential impacts the Conservation Communities may have on the surrounding roadways.
Watershed-based planning
  • We retain the best land use planning and water resource planning expertise to study our land as an integral component of the watersheds in which it lies. We insist that our study go beyond the property lines to the larger watershed. We also insist that our storm water management initiatives go beyond simply maintaining the hydrological integrity of the land and actually enhance it. We will ensure the sufficiency of preserved critical habitat in order to maintain the ecosystem values of the land and the watershed’s biodiversity. These protections are outlined in conservation and ecoforestry covenants registered on title to the land and monitored by reputable third parties such as the Land Conservancy of Canada.

The Community

We fully embrace a transparent community involvement process in the design and approval of our conservation land use approach.

Public design charrette process
  • Our neighbourhood design process involves the participation of the community. For each project, we hold a public design charrette and publicly invite members of the community and municipal/regional staff to join us in either assisting or observing our team in creating our Conservation Communities. The community representatives along with a team of knowledgeable biologists, ecological consultants, engineers, designers, eco-foresters, and planners gather for three to five days to establish design directives, identify policies and create plans for the communities. These days of multi-disciplinary design work are celebrated by holding a publicly advertised community presentation featuring the results of the design charrette.
Municipal staff and community member involvement.
  • We desire to work collaboratively to build stewardship Legacy within any given community. We see ourselves as being in partnership with the community and its elected officials and staff in order to assist all in enhancing the ecology of the community. We want to be invited to work in other municipalities.
  • Working with the municipal or regional district staff, we anticipate using a new comprehensive land use zone called the Community Land Stewardship zone (CLS zone), pioneered by the Trust for Sustainable Forestry and the Comox-Strathcona Regional District. Currently used on Cortes Island, the CLS zone is an umbrella mechanism, similar to a mixed use comprehensive development zone, to ensure that permitted land uses, housing density, and minimum lot sizes are identified in the same bylaw as the design guidelines and the registered protective covenants.
  • We seek transparency when working with the community. We post our background data and expert reports on our website and the municipal website, if permitted. Our website contains a regular blog of news updates. We want the community to be fully aware of and engaged as much as they like in the land stewardship and development process for a Living Forest Community.