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Evaluating BC's Community Forest Agreement program as a tool for source water protection

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The government of British Columbia introduced the Community Forest Agreement program (CFAP) in 2003. The program offers opportunities for communities to gain a degree of control over their surrounding forests through a form of timber tenure. Some communities have acquired a Community Forest Agreement with the intention of using it to protect the watersheds that provide their drinking water. This study evaluates the opportunities provided by the CFAP for source water protection and seeks to understand what changes communities and government could make to improve these opportunities. The experiences of the Harrop-Procter, McBride, and Creston community forests are used as case studies. The study concludes that community forests have been successful at protecting their source watersheds over the short term through the CFAP. It also recommends changes to forest planning approaches, governance arrangements, business structures, and tenure arrangements that could help improve long-term opportunities for community-based source water protection.
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