The Mission Municipal Forest, in the Fraser Valley of southern British Columbia, is the first and oldest continually operating community forest in Canada. Its resilience and success helped paved the way for the community forestry model in BC. Operating under BC Tree Farm Licence #26, these 10,000 hectares of cedar, hemlock, and fir forest straddle the lower reaches of Stave Lake, a scenic area of historical and economic significance to First Nations, the province, industry, and the wider Mission community.
This book captures the history of the municipal forest, known as the Tree Farm, and demonstrates why locally managed forests can innovate and generate a diversity of benefits for surrounding communities. The Tree Farm describes the trials and opportunities in the Mission Municipal Forest, including fire management, fluctuating log prices, surging numbers of visitors, and the need to take steps towards reconciliation.
Fully illustrated with contemporary and archival photos and maps, The Tree Farm is a perfect way to commemorate this innovative forestry model and chart a path forward.
A geographer by training, Michelle Rhodes is interested in how small communities change over time in response to significant economic and environmental challenges. She is an associate professor of geography at the University of the Fraser Valley. Her previous research has explored the economic viability of community forestry and the rise of mass-produced housing in small towns.