Growing Community Forests

Practice, Research, and Advocacy in Canada

Ryan Bullock (Editor), Gayle Broad (Editor), Lynn Palmer (Editor), Peggy Smith (Editor)

Canada is experiencing an unparalleled crisis involving forests and communities across the country. While municipalities, policy makers, and industry leaders acknowledge common challenges such as an overdependence on U.S. markets, rising energy costs, and lack of diversification, no common set of solutions has been developed and implemented. Ongoing and at times contentious public debate has revealed an appetite and need for a fundamental rethinking of the relationships that link our communities, governments, industrial partners, and forests.

The community forest is one path that promises to build social, economic, and ecological resilience. This model provides local control over common forest-lands in order to activate resource development opportunities, benefits, and social responsibilities. Implementing community forestry in practice has proven to be a complex task, however: there are no road maps or well-developed and widely-tested models for community forestry in Canada. But in settings where community forests have taken hold, there is a rich and growing body of experience to draw on.

Growing Community Forests brings leading researchers, practitioners, Indigenous representatives, government representatives, local advocates, and students together to share resources, and tools to forest communities, policy makers, and industry.


“Rural and small-town resource-dependent regions are struggling with transformation and change in the new economy. The expansion of community forest initiatives over the past decades have been one mechanism by which local goals and values can be linked to the use of a community’s forested surroundings. Within a growing literature, this book is a welcome, diverse, and timely addition which provides a ready and valuable reference to community forests and community forestry in Canada.”

– Greg Halseth, Geography, University of Northern British Columbia

“Over the past two decades, community forestry has been adopted with growing frequency across Canada. Localities have sought to balance multiple values— economic, social, environmental—within systems of decentralized forest management. Contributors to Growing Community Forests: Practice, Research and Advocacy in Canada demonstrate that community forestry ventures are participatory, increasingly collaborative and face ‘issues and forces’ of Indigenous empowerment, environmental requirements and increased community demands.”

Kirsten McIlveen, BC Studies

About the Authors

Ryan Bullock is a Canada Research Chair in Human-Environment Interactions and associate professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at the University of Winnipeg. He is also the Director of the Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research.

Gayle Broad is an associate professor, Community Economic and Social Development program, and Director of Research at the NORDIK Institute at Algoma University.

Lynn Palmer is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Natural Resources Management at Lakehead University.

M.A. (Peggy) Smith is an associate professor, Faculty of Natural Resources Management, as well as the Interim Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) at Lakehead University.

Other contributors: Gayle Broad, Ryan Bullock, Giuliana Casimirri, Annette Chretien, Peter Duinker, Felicitas Egunyu, Tracy Glynn, Jennifer Gunter, Shashi Kant, Colin Lachance. Julia Lawler, Erik Leslie, Kris MacLellan, Grant Morin, Susan Mulkey, Brenda Murphy, Lynn Palmer, Maureen Reed, David Robinson, Peggy Smith, Sara Teitelbaum

Book Details

  • Growing Community Forests: Practice, Research, and Advocacy in Canada
  • Ryan Bullock (Editor), Gayle Broad (Editor), Lynn Palmer (Editor), Peggy Smith (Editor)
  • Published October 2017, 256 pages
  • Paper, ISBN: 978-0-88755-793-4, 6 × 9, $27.95
  • Topic(s): Agriculture & Food, Environmental Studies, Resource Management

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