Wetzin’Kwa board seeks new member

The Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest Corporation is looking for someone to fill the role of director-at-large

The Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest Corporation is looking for someone to fill the role of director-at-large.

The post has been vacant since late last year and the board would like the position to be filled before they begin receiving funding requests from community groups in May, said Colin MacLeod, Village of Telkwa representative on the Wetzin’Kwa board.

“While a forestry background is helpful, what we’re really looking for is someone who is community minded who will complement the values and skill sets of  the rest of the board,” said. “Not having a third director to represent the community leaves us a voice short for discussions and decisions and we run the risk of not reaching quorum at meetings.”

Wetzin’Kwa chair David de Wit said they want a variety of viewpoints on the board.

“We want our board to represent a wide range of community values and we want diverse views from the community — whether it’s arts, recreation or different areas,” de Wit said.

De Wit has been involved in the community forest since 2006. He has held the chair position since the group’s AGM last November.

De Wit is employed as the naturl resources manager with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.

“One of the things that is unique about the community forest is it’s an opportunity for innovation and change within forest management,” he said.

“It’s an exciting initiative to be a part of because I definitely have learned a lot about different community interests besides the Wet’suwet’en point of view and there are opportunities to seek collaborative solutions in the community.”

The time commitment required is minimal, McLeod said, except during the organization’s annual uptake of community funding applications.

The Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest Corporation was awarded the forest tenure in 2007. The corporation is run jointly by the Village of Telkwa and the Town of Smithers and supported by the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.

The board of directors is made up of seven volunteer positions, including three directors at large.

The community forest is more than 32,000 hectares, covering the north, west and south slopes of Hudson Bay Mountain.

Every year, Wetzin’Kwa  distributes profits to community organizations. Since 2009, more than $600,000 has been handed out.

Directors at large serve three-year positions. Anyone interested in the position can submit a letter of interest to wetzinkwa.comfor@gmail.com or call 250-847-3680 for more information.