In 2010, British Columbia Community Forest Association received a $20,000 grant from Northern Development through the Marketing Initiatives program towards this $199,994 project. This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development, British Columbia Community Forest Association, Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, Federation of BC Woodlot Association, Omineca Beetle Action Coalition, Rural Economic Diversification Initiative, and Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition
2012 – An innovative online wood marketplace is turning new marketing opportunities into tangible sales for buyers and sellers of BC forest products. WoodSourceBC.com is an interactive website created from The Bridges Project, an initiative of the British Columbia Community Forest Association whose members are community-based organizations that are either managing community forests or striving to establish community forests.
The WoodSourceBC website was created as a result of community meetings across the province which identified the need for small tenure owners such as community forests and woodlots to connect with value-added producers. Whether users of the site are selling logs, buying lumber, building homes or making fine furniture, they are doing business together in a way they never did before, generating social enterprise revenue in the region.
"As BC's forest sector emerges from the economic doldrums, there will be new and expanded business opportunities. It will be extremely useful to have a web site where log and wood sellers such as woodlot licensees, can make contact with log and wood buyers. We hope to see many mutually beneficial, long-term business relationships as a result."Brian McNaughton, General Manger, Federation of BC Woodlot Associations
"The British Columbia Community Forest Association is excited about the potential of our WoodSourceBC project and how it will help our forest workers and local economies recover and grow."Robin Hood, President, BC Community Forest Association
"There are so many good products out there that need help in getting to the marketplace. This provides a really valuable link between small log sellers, small manufacturers and lumber retailers."Kevin W. Davie, Vice President, BC Community Forest Association
In the first six months following the launch of the WoodSourceBC website in September, 2011, the site had already gained over 300 members and more than 65 listings. The Bridges Project is also working to identify new log market opportunities as a means of increasing the value of wood to small tenure holders. This is an important step towards supporting economically and socially sustainable rural BC communities, forest workers and their families; when a local business purchases local raw materials, that money stays in the community and circulates through the community many times.
The BC Community Forest Association is already working on new features and enhancements to the WoodSourceBC website and integrating it with a second project phase, Bridges 2, which will further showcase value-added opportunities around the province. Bridges 2 will also create on the-the-ground investment in value-added manufacturing, resulting in more jobs in rural communities.