The Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) released its draft 5-Year Development Plan in May 2023. After hearing from hundreds of Whistler residents who were upset about the inclusion of harvesting blocks above the Cheakamus Lake Road that overlapped with popular mountain bike trails, the CCF decided to remove the C02 a, b and c blocks proposed for harvesting in 2026 from its plans.
The CCF and the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) met on site in July to review and discuss the issues raised by community members. Follow up meetings have taken place over the summer and will continue. WORCA and the CCF have agreed to develop a collaborative, transparent planning process that will share information on a regular basis to reduce conflicts, look for opportunities to cooperate on forest and trail management, and communicate better with the mountain bike community. Discussions continue on the details of that process and other proposed harvesting areas of concern.
“WORCA is pleased to be collaborating with the CCF on creating a strategy aimed at mitigating the potential impacts of forest harvest practices on Whistler’s trail network. We look forward to being a part of the planning process instead of reacting to the process once it’s complete,” said WORCA Trails Administrator, Nicole Koshure.
The CCF is a locally-managed forestry tenure held in partnership by the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation. Unlike other privately-held forest tenures, forest management decisions are made in the community with input from the community. A Community Forest balances modern and traditional forest management by including cultural, economic, ecological, recreational and community values for the forest.
The release of the draft 5-year development plan provided enough time for the CCF to review the site in more detail, hear concerns and make changes. This collaborative approach illustrates why the Cheakamus Community Forest is the ideal model to manage the forests surrounding Whistler.