…and How We Got Here
Initially, in 1998, an informal group of community citizens involved in a diverse number of interests, (environmental, forestry, business, construction, education, civic groups and private landownership), came to the table to discuss the depressed condition of the local communities. Due to a downsizing in the forest resource industry of the area, many mills had closed and jobs were lost.
This situation lent to a demoralization of the entire community and folks decided something had to be done. To bring together a group of folks who traditionally wouldn’t even speak to one another was a challenging, innovative, daring goal. It took a number of meetings for the group to find that they shared a common vision for their communities as well as their forests and that they could achieve their goal by developing a partnership amongst themselves.
Working with the F.S. to implement a stewardship project, this citizen group formally became the Priest Community Forest Connection in 2005, and gained 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit status in 2006. The Lakeface-Lamb Forest Stewardship contract was a complex contract that put a large number of creative and unusual activites to test.
The 7 year contract was completed early in 2007. The Lakeface-Lamb link is a short summary of the activities that took place during the Lakeface-Lamb project, showing the diverse experience of the contractors that PCFC employed. THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE PCFC is carrying on their accomplishments as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit. They have designed and implemented several new programs and are developing many exciting partnerships, always with the community’s well-being as its motivation.
Through grant funding from the National Forest Foundation, PCFC was able to start up with an office and their 501 (c) 3 status. Some education programs are also funded through grants, but the day-to-day activities are funded through careful management of the account created by the original stewardship project.
Today, 2012, PCFC continues to inspire and be inspired through their community involvement. Working with the West Bonner County School District, the City of Priest River, Priest River Urban Renewal Agency, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the Forest Service and the Washing Department of Fish and Wildlife, PCFC finds their wings expanding to ever more challenging and rewarding projects. (Please see the Community Programs link.) Interested in the collaborative process, in successfully implementing government contracts? Contact the Priest Community Forest Connection or call 208-448-0210.