A&A Trading gets an A+ in connecting hikers to forests & forests to community
A&A Trading Ltd. (A&A), a family-owned, forest company with operations on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, is working with local hikers to change the way people think about the forest industry.
With operations that include logging, reforestation, and forest product marketing, A&A believes that responsibly managed forests are a renewable resource that can provide for our needs now and the needs of future generations.A&A considers themselves stewards of the forests they manage through supporting local communities, conserving wildlife, maintaining soil and water quality, creating jobs, and providing sustainable wood products that are used to produce environmentally responsible building materials.
The woodland operations of A&A are certified to the independent standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), ISO 14001:2004, and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
According to Alysha Van Delft, Assistant Planning Forester at A&A, “Being SFI certified means that we are going above and beyond what is legally required to operate in British Columbia. A&A is proud to tell our customers that we are SFI certified and continues to maintain the certification because it gives us access to buyers who demand sustainable products. And, of course, an important part of the SFI standard is Community Involvement.”
Community is an important part of putting sustainability first - and part of the SFI standard. A&A is working with the Pender Harbour Hiking Group, which represents more than 100+ people, to share information with the community about responsible forest development and public access. Together, they have installed three informational signs along hiking trails that explain:
- The connection between sustainable forest management and recreation
- Reforestation strategies
- The economic benefits of forest management
- Wildlife tree retention patches reserved for wildlife and biodiversity values
“Having a good relationship with those who use the forest for recreation makes sharing information about development and access easier and more meaningful,” Van Delft said.
The Pender Harbour Hiking Group explained that trail users are interested in the new signage because it gives them information about what is happening in the area, shares future plans, and supports hiker safety. Members have expressed that more education leads to a better understanding on the land base and cooperation among all forest users.
Learn more about sustainable forestry, what communities can do to contribute, and how you can support sustainable forestry by choosing certified products at sfiprogram.org.