Working with Communities & Contributing to Healthy Local Economies
Interfor builds value for communities by supporting a healthy economy and environment, and we do this through meaningful engagement and community support.
Engaging with the Community
We engage with the public and communities impacted by our mills or harvesting operations. Some of the formal frameworks under which we actively share information and engage with First Nations, communities, stakeholders and the general public include:
- Interfor stakeholder engagement strategy plans in our Southern region;
- Forest Stewardship Plans;
- Landscape Reserve Designs in the Great Bear Rainforest; and
- SFI Certification (SFI Forest Management Standard Objectives 6, 8, 12 and 13 and SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard Objectives 6, 7 and 8).
In addition to these broad frameworks we engage with stakeholders through attending local forums, providing tours and taking part in educational opportunities. Some examples include:
- We worked with the University of Georgia’s Extension Agency to facilitate outreach meetings focused on how sawmills provided opportunities for rapid timber salvage of damaged forest for forest landowners in southwest Georgia following Hurricane Michael in 2018.
- Molalla Division hosted members of a collaborative working group on the Mount Hood National Forest during the Clackamas Stewardship Partners Tour. Clackamas Stewardship Partners is a group of diverse stakeholders dedicated to restoring ecological function of the Clackamas River Basin while benefiting local economies.
- Preston Division hosted members of the Webster County Volunteer Fire Department and EMS personnel along with Chief Darrell Holbrook and Sheriff Randy Dely for a Lunch & Learn led by the Preston Safety Committee. The group toured the site and learned about the fire system improvements and emergency routes.
- Interfor supported the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program (SFLR) through involvement in workshops and education opportunities. This program improves forest management by connecting African-American landowners to established networks of forestry support including federal and state government programs, businesses, and non-profit conservation, legal, and community development organizations.
- We took part in a Georgia Senate Study Committee on Agriculture, Forestry & Landscape Workforce Access, and shared our workforce recruitment and retention learnings and achievements from our US South operations.
- Our coastal BC operations work with the Discovery Islands group, who are concerned about visual quality objectives. We share cutblock and road locations on a public website so their concerns can be included in our planning prior to harvesting.
- In BC’s Interior, we have taken part in the Christina Lake Stewardship Society for over 10 years, the past three years on the Board of Directors. Focusing on sound stewardship within the Christina Lake watershed, the society’s key 2019 initiatives included kokanee enumerations and spawning habitat restoration, prevention and mitigation measures targeting aquatic invasive species, as well as wildfire prevention and mitigation strategies.
- We participate in a roundtable for the Clearwater Community Advisory Group where, in 2019, some of the key discussions included biomass sources to supply the community energy system and sustainable harvesting.
- After an area of forest was knocked down by high winds, we worked with the Nakusp and Area Community Trail Society to develop a prescription for salvage harvesting that would maintain the Saddle Mountain Lookout Trail by limiting road crossings and implementing buffers.
- Interfor is a member of the Olympic Forest Collaborative. In 2019, this group held a series of public meetings around the Olympic Peninsula to inform and seek input from the public concerning timber harvesting projects designed to restore and accelerate the development of habitat for late successional species, such as spotted owls and marbled murrelets.
Giving Back to the Community
Our promise to communities is to build
value by supporting a healthy economy and environment. We do this, in part, through donations to organizations and programs in the regions where we operate. Each Interfor division operates within a region and has a particular relationship with its surrounding communities. To support that relationship, each Interfor location is given its own annual donation budget to be spent as the divisional leadership sees fit.
Preference is given to the following areas:
The overarching goals for Interfor’s divisional annual donations are:
- promote Interfor within the communities where the division operates;
- build positive community relations and awareness of Interfor within the community;
- build morale by showing local employees that Interfor cares about them and their communities; and
- support our corporate social responsibility goals.
Taxes & Employees
In 2019 Interfor employed 2,987 people and paid $11.3M in taxes, including amounts paid or payable to governments in respect of income, property and certain other taxes. Excluded are taxes paid but not separately tracked or readily quantifiable, including BC Provincial Sales and Carbon Taxes.