A Castlegar area woodlot is being recognized with two provincial awards.
Robert and Greg Sahlstrom are being recognized with a 2020 Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management and the overall provincial award.
“I am pleased to announce Bob and Greg Sahlstrom as the top overall provincial woodlot licence award recipients for 2020, which is well deserved after the Sahlstrom family’s 70 years of managing their woodlot licence area,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“They are dedicated to maintaining a productive and diverse woodlot operation and generously share access to the property for their local community to enjoy.”
Woodlot licensees are small-scale forest managers who strive to take a hands-on approach to natural resource management. Timber is harvested in a manner consistent with principles of stewardship and sustainability.
The Sahlstrom’s woodlot licence (W0403) covers 579 hectares in the Selkirk Natural Resource District.
It has been managed by the Sahlstrom family since 1952. The woodlot business has been a part of this family for decades, as they homesteaded the area in the late 1920s.
According to the province, this woodlot is in one of the most productive and diverse areas in the southern Interior, and the Sahlstroms’ management strategy is to enhance this productivity and diversity. Forest health and diversity includes cedar, birch and aspen, and managing private land containing transmission-sized cedar poles.
The Sahlstroms keep road construction narrow to minimize their footprint. These roads could provide acess for firefighters, if needed.
The woodlot is also used for field labs by the Selkirk College school of environment and geomatics (forestry) because it is in a wildfire interface area and has a diverse wildlife ecosystem.
The Sahlstroms give back to their community by employing local harvesting and reforestation contractors and making the woodlot available for mushroom and berry pickers, snowshoers and mountain bikers.
“The long-term stewardship approach to managing their woodlot is an excellent example of innovation, diversity, high utilization standards and contributing to the local community — all core values of B.C.’s woodlot licence program,” said Jeff Beale, president, Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations. “We are proud of the Sahlstrom family dedication to natural resource management and their long history as good woodlot citizens.”
Award winners receive a signed, framed certificate of recognition from the minister. The area winners each take home $2,500, with an additional $2,500 going to the top performer in the province.
The awards are funded by the Province of British Columbia and administered by the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations.