It’s unlikely that when Dale Wilson’s grandfather was repaid an outstanding debt with a deed to a stand of trees in the middle of nowhere, it would lead the whole family down such an enriching path.
But that’s exactly what happened in 1916. It placed the Wilson family in a pristine part of British Columbia – Qualicum Bay, on Vancouver Island. Their small parcel of land provided a living for Dale’s father, who harvested timber from the land with horses and an axe. It also provided a lifetime of memories for Dale, especially being lifted onto the backs of those giant horses and wandering the forest on childhood adventures.
While everyone knows BC’s forests provide many benefits, do you know about BC’s Woodlot Licences and their unique contributions to communities?
There are woodlots and woodlot licences in British Columbia. A woodlot is a privately owned plot of forest. A woodlot licence is an area-based, long term forest tenure issued by the Province of BC. It’s a social contract to manage a parcel of Crown land, usually in combination with a private woodlot. The licence comes with strict rules, but also grants the right for the licensee to harvest timber on the land.
Today, there are about 850 woodlot licences held throughout BC, accounting for nearly 600,000 hectares of managed forestland and contributing 2% of all the timber harvested annually in BC.