A Better Future for the Forest

We are a vital and unique social enterprise, a partnership between a Canadian charity, The Trust for Sustainable Forestry, and a for-profit corporation, Living Forest Communities.

We see clear-cut logging become a thing of the past and small Living Forest Communities springing up all over North America.

We see men and women, families and communities, living and working in the forest in perpetuity for a decent living wage. We see species at risk having the habitat they need to survive.

We see a future where people who must live close to a city will have a choice between a conventional sprawling residential development and the joy of living in a community that shares a kinship with the land and all of her inhabitants.

If our shared conservation community model could capture only 1% of real estate transactions, the new revenues going into conservation projects would surpass all of the charitable donations to land conservation organizations worldwide.

A Unique and Powerful Model

We selected the location (near Victoria, B.C.) initially because of the threat of industrial deforestation, and what deforestation would do to the quality of the water in the Upper Shawnigan Lake watershed and to the migration route of one of the last Roosevelt Elk herds on Vancouver Island.

We identified 85% of the entire site to be the conservation and eco-forestry areas. We based our choice on an extensive ecological baseline assessment that determined the Highest Conservation Value Lands (HCV).

We identified 15% of the land for residential, agriculture, and eco-businesses. These development areas were chosen from the Lowest Conservation Value lands, those with thin soils or recent human disturbance, and from lands that have aesthetically pleasing water and mountain views.

We limited the impact of the development footprint by restricting the density, by clustering narrow roads and small houses in the southeast corner of the property, and by using minimal impact modes of servicing.

A Community Build for Sustainable Living

We designed the residential areas using traditional neighbourhood design (TND) principles for walkability, proximity, views, mix of uses, and a mix of incomes.

We designated 65 acres of land for food production, organic gardening, greenhouses, animal husbandry, harvesting of natural products.

We created protocols for a Fire Smart community with wildfire interface protection.We build constructed wetlands and ponds in order to integrate water harvesting, rain water management, irrigation of crops, etc.

We designated land for local economic diversity: food production, eco-business enterprises, cultural and ecological education, and eco-tourism.

We substantially fund and support other conservation projects through development profit-sharing with our social enterprise partner, the Trust for Sustainable Forestry.

To ensure conservation of the forest land in perpetuity, we committed to a series of 5 binding mechanisms:

–  Conservation covenants
–  Community Land Stewardship Zoning
–  Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC®)
–  200-year forest management plan
–  Donation of timber rights to the Trust for Sustainable Forestry