[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?
What is a Living Forest Community?Living Forest Communities is a unique conservation development model. Through land conservation and ecosystem-based forestry, we establish and maintain sustainable natural forest ecosystems in perpetuity. Through the acquisition of privately owned forestland, we place protective covenants on at least 85% of the land and then work to create attractive, "light-on-the-land" residential hamlets on the remaining least sensitive portions of the land. These communities feature clustered home sites modeled after European hilltop towns, and focus on the use of green building technologies. This model allows us to reduce the environmental impact of development and human activities throughout the property, and protects the most ecologically sensitive areas of the forest.
Cortes Island and the Community Land Stewardship ZoneIn 2002, the Trust for Sustainable Forestry initiated a successful example of the Living Forest Communities model on a 153 acre parcel of land on Cortes Island. The key to the success of the Cortes community was the creation of the Community Land Stewardship Zone (CLS Zone) which acted as an umbrella mechanism to ensure that permitted land uses, housing density, and minimum lot sizes were identified in the same bylaw as the design guidelines and the registered protective covenants.
On Cortes, an average density of one house per 10 acre allowed for the clustering of 15 home sites over a wide range of prices. The Eco-Village sites were designed for smaller homes suitable for those working at the adjacent timber mill site or in manufacturing and local agro-forestry businesses.
The CLS Zone also makes reference to the conservation covenant held by The Land Conservancy of BC. This covenant details the best in forest stewardship practices and saves over 90% of the forests. The Land Conservancy of Canada’s involvement as signatory to the covenants and auditor guarantees that the conserved lands will be managed in the agreed sustainable fashion.