The Living Forest Communities model is financed by equity investments made by private accredited individuals and companies into Living Forest One Limited Partnership (LF1), which is a BC registered Partnership. There is currently an opportunity for a third round of investment in the Partnership, and the legal terms and conditions for this investment have been outlined in the Offering Memorandum, dated June 1, 2010 and updated for 2011. Investments can only be made through the Offering Memorandum. This is not an offering for sale.
An Executive Summary of the Offering is downloadable here.
From time to time, there will be other opportunities to invest in Living Forest Communities. Please contact us if you are interested in more information about these investment opportunities, and we will make an Offering Memorandum available.
The OpportunityThis is a unique time in history. For a variety of reasons, there are vast tracks of forestland for sale on Vancouver Island, and some of these lands have significant conservation value. Several of the larger timber companies have announced plans to sell timberland for development. There are also a number of Vancouver Island families who have owned forestland for generations, and who are now considering selling their holdings.
Currently, the primary options are to sell the land to small logging contractors who will clear-cut the forest and sell the raw logs, or attempt to subdivide the land into conventional suburban lots, or both. Neither of the current options is sustainable.
Occasionally, Land Trusts and conservation groups can work with provincial and federal parks programs to protect these properties by mounting a land acquisition campaign, but all too frequently there is not enough money to go around. Living Forest Communities supports every effort for land conservation by the Land Trust agencies, but when it is clear that the Land Trust community cannot acquire a property, we believe that the LFC model is a creative alternative to clear-cutting and rural lot subdivision.
Living Forest Communities does not support the removal of forestland from forestry activities, rather we support the transition from industrial clear-cutting based on a short term rotational program to the more sensitive, eco-system based management of forestry lands. In the transition from the short-term commoditization of timber to the longer perspective of eco-system based management and conservation, there is a significant reduction in net present value of the operations. The limited real estate portion of the Living Forest Communities model (while impacting less than 15% of the land base) offers a significant revenue stream that can bridge the transition process and make the dual objectives of eco-forestry and conservation financially viable.
Living Forest Communities model is the only free-market model that we know of for the conservation of large areas of forestland.
After researching hundreds of properties on Vancouver Island and discussing the model with numerous elected officials, we are convinced that the Living Forest Communities model will be successful, both politically and financially. Elected officials quickly see that our model resolves a number of the dilemmas that they face when forest or farmland are targeted for conventional residential development.
Why is this Different?In British Columbia, conventional suburban development is highly land consumptive, expensive and has a "heavy" ecological footprint. Subdivision approvals granted in rural areas by the BC Ministry of Transportation cause a fragmentation of the forest by subdividing the land into two, five or ten hectare parcels with clearings for 20m wide roads. Usually, it also means an expensive extension of community wide services such as water and sewer systems. Further, developers and owners may, at their discretion, clear a significant portion of the subdivided lots for buildings, structures, driveways and yards.
The Smart Growth movement and the advocates of New Urbanism, Eco-Density and Sustainable Development all seek a common goal of reducing the ecological footprint of human settlement. For over twenty years, environmental NGOs and planners have known the "best practices" for creating sustainable communities. Recently, the threat of Climate Change has produced a far more urgent resolve towards changing the way that we build on this earth. Now is the time to incorporate the practices of sustainability in the forest sector that can counter the impacts of conventional suburban development.
Living Forest Communities will incorporate "best practices" into the forests by building narrow, contour hugging roads that do not require extensive blasting followed by large volume cut and fills. Wherever possible, we will limit the size and impacts of roads or bridges and utilize natural systems thinking in the provision of infrastructure and the management of storm runoff. By regenerating wetlands and streams, we can provide a valuable means for slowing down runoff, and permitting rainfall to recharge underground aquifers. In many locations, we can also improve the percolation of the soil, and enhance the many natural ecological functions of the land.
One of the emerging sectors within Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is that of Profitable Ecological Land Banking. Investing in Living Forest Communities is an investment in a west coast land bank that is both ecologically responsible and profitable.