Situated between the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains of Southeastern British Columbia, the tiny villages of Harrop and Procter are hard at work developing a new approach to forestry in British Columbia.
For the first time, local loggers and environmentalists have set off into the woods together to harvest trees from their own watersheds.
While the number of trees harvested is relatively small, the harvest marks a milestone toward developing a middle ground in BC’s long-standing “War in the Woods”. This road to moderation has not been easy; indeed some have seen it as a David and Goliath struggle.
Most Harrop-Procter residents draw their drinking water from the numerous small creeks cascading down the mountain, and for the past 25 years, they have struggled to protect these watersheds and to have a voice in the logging practices in the surrounding forests.
The Harrop-Procter Pilot Project has gone two steps past the typical community forest by implementing an ecosystem-based plan as well as value-added strategies to expand local employment. The goal of ecosystem-based planning is to leave a fully functioning forest after logging takes place. So far, Harrop-Procter has the only community forest in BC with ecosystem-based plans in place at both the landscape and timber stand level.
This web site outlines the challenges the people of Harrop-Procter faced to get here, so that others may learn from this experience.
The web site also describes the ecologically responsible wood products sold by the Harrop-Procter Community Co-op, and it provides links to other organizations and research groups that are working toward the same goals.