by KORIE MARSHALL
Two new board members have been appointed to the interim board for the McBride Community Forest Corporation.
Randy McFarland and Joseph Rich were appointed to two vacant seats on the board during its Feb 19th meeting.
Mayor Loranne Martin says several members of the public have expressed their interest in becoming a director, and McFarland and Rich bring a wealth of forestry experience, local knowledge and business experience to the MCFC table. Both are also members of the advisory committee set up to help the board evaluate the potential deal to purchase volume from Carrier Lumber.
Martin says Councillor Ralph Bezanson had indicated he wished to step down from the MCFC board, saying he wanted to have more public involvement and more knowledgeable members who are willing to move the community forest forward.
At its inaugural meeting on Dec. 1st, 2014, McBride Council dismissed all previous board members, and appointed themselves as an interim board. Martin said they wanted to give themselves time to learn about MCFC and how it operates, and they’d likely change the board in the coming year.
In February 2015, Dannielle Alan, regional director for Area H, was appointed to the board as well, but has since stepped down.
The board fired its general manager in August 2015, after it began working with B.A. Blackwell and Associates and Susan Mulkey of the BC Community Forest Association to review operations and governance of the MCFC. The board halted all logging operations in the fall, after learning the MCFC was in a severe overcut situation. After a review of existing blocks and planning practices, logging was started again in early 2016.
The board, together with Jeff McWilliams of B.A. Blackwell and Mulkey, have hosted a number of public meetings since last summer. Mulkey has been leading the discussion on governance, and issued two surveys to get feedback on how the community felt the board should be reorganized and members appointed. Survey responses were due in early February.
Mayor Martin and Councillors Sharon Reichert and Edee Tracy remain on the five-member board.