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Lake Cowichan aims to play host

Lake Cowichan town council has thrown its weight behind the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative as the group attempts to bring a high level provincial meeting to the west Cowichan community next year.

Consultant Patrick Hrushowy wrote to council asking for support because the BC Community Forest Association's annual general meetings are usually held on the mainland.

"This organization's AGMs typically bring together about 75 representatives

from community forests around the province for a three-day meeting that includes business sessions, educational workshops and tours of area operations. Lake Cowichan is ideally situated to host this event, which is held each year in June," said Hrushowy.

The Lake Cowichan Forest Co-op has a long history, built on trying to deal with the decline of a once-thriving forest industry in the area.

On June 24, 1994, as part of the provincial government's Island Job Strategy, then premier Mike Harcourt encouraged the Cowichan Lake area to establish a

Community Forest, and apply for a Forest Licence for the 3,000 hectare Bolduc Block near Gordon River.

Membership is limited to corporations or societies, as defined by the Co-Operative Association Act.

The members must reside or work in the Cowichan Lake area and have an interest in the management, operation and sustainability of the local forest resource.

In the past, the Co-op has received financial assistance from both the Co-Operative Development Branch and Forest Renewal BC.