Non-profit model to make governance of Beaver Lodge lands more democratic – Campbell River Mirror
Are you passionate about the Beaver Lodge?
Are you one of the thousands of residents of Campbell who recreate there? Have you ever wondered how decisions are made about what to do here? Do you want to get involved?
Beaver Lodge Forest is unique, set aside as an experimental forest and managed by the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development. Although used as a park, Beaver Lodge is not a formal “park”; therefore, it does not have the processes used by municipalities or ministries to govern parks. The Beaver Lodge Trust Committee wants to fill this gap by registering as a non-profit association to work with the land manager, the FLNRORD ministry.
In 1931, the land was donated by a forestry company for experimental reforestation and forest management work. In 1993, the Beaver Lodge Lands Trust Renewal Act was enacted by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to protect these lands for this purpose. The law established a trust committee to develop the 1994 resource use plan to guide decisions.
Fast forward 25 years and Beaver Lodge is a recreation center for thousands of local walkers, runners, dog owners, horse riders and cyclists. The trust committee exists, but unlike nonprofits, the trust committee lacks essential governance elements like bylaws, AGMS, strategic plans, membership, and transparent election of directors. He created a governance sub-committee that developed a process for transitioning to a corporation. Registration as a non-profit corporation would allow the creation of a governance structure to better balance the interests of the public and the natural environment as an experimental research forest.
Long-time member Sandra Milligan is chairing the restructuring effort: âThere is a diverse group of people committed to registering a company, but we want Beaver Lodge users to be part of the process and the new company. “
Committee member and retired forester Steve Lackey adds, âCompany registration allows us to elect directors, open a bank account, apply for funding and make transparent decisions using feedback from the company. public.
The group also includes Colin Gabelmann, who facilitated the establishment of the Beaver Lodge in 1993 as MP for Campbell River and attorney general.
âIt became evident that the structure we designed in 1994 lacked a process to ensure public engagement in the management of Beaver Lodge. We are taking steps to make the process more democratic, âsays Gabelmann.
Ministry staff are also supporting the process and have been working with the group since March. Lesley Fettes, District Manager, explains: âThe ministry has worked with the trust committee since its inception in 1994. We welcome the transition to a registered company which will improve relations with the ministry and make participation even easier. public.
Once a registered company is established, members will work with the ministry to develop strategic plans, operational plans and other governance documents to guide the management of the Beaver Lodge for all users.
On Monday, October 18 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the group invites the public to learn more about their vision and get involved in the process. The format of the meeting will allow simultaneous online or in-person participation in the public meeting to be held at the Sportsplex, Room 1. Entrance to the Sportsplex requires a vaccination passport and mask. Due to a capacity of 60 rooms, registration is required. Call Sandra Milligan 250 204-2040 or email [email protected] to register for the meeting or to receive the link for online participation.
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