The BC government has indefinitely suspended the BC Rural Dividend Fund. The fund was geared towards helping rural communities diversify their economies, often including trail projects.

From the CBC Article:

Steve Forseth is a director with the Cariboo Regional District, which had applied for $100,000 to create trails in the region. He said he’s surprised the NDP was willing to cancel Rural Dividend funding, because so many local governments rely on it for important community projects.

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the recent mill closures. We believe that they – as residents of typically rural communities in BC – deserve a more considered approach to ensure a thriving forestry economy. However, integral to rural sustainability are projects that foster a wide variety of economic activity, including trails based recreation. Cancelling the Rural Dividend Fund is a short-sighted measure that – while providing temporary relief – comes at the expense of long term economic resilience. Our vision of rural communities is one where traditional industries thrive alongside trail based recreation and cultural storytelling of the histories of the traditional peoples of the lands.

Help us send a message to the Honourable Doug Donaldson that rural communities, and the forestry sector, deserve better than half measures:


Tell Minister Donaldson to reinstate the BC Rural Dividend Fund

The Honourable Doug Donaldson, M.L.A,

Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

Room 248 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4

Dear Minister,

As a former forestry biologist, I’m appealing to your recognition of the importance of biodiversity. As biodiversity enhances the services that ecosystems provide, so too do a diverse set of industries and initiatives provide for residents of rural BC.

The Rural Dividend Fund is an important tool for ensuring a diversity of economic, cultural, and recreation opportunities for rural communities. As a representative of Northern BC constituents, I’m sure that you’ve heard plenty on both the importance of a thriving forestry sector, and also the importance of diversification. The third commitment of your mandate letter is to build a strong, sustainable, and innovative economy. As nature thrives under conditions of biodiversity, so too will rural communities with diverse economic opportunities.

It’s time to make a stand. Stand up for the importance of forestry by finding other sources of funding and an effective long term management approach to the industry. Stand up for forestry communities through diversification of economic opportunities through a reinstatement of the Rural Dividend Fund.