In 2019, the College of New Caledonia Research Forest Society (CNCRFS) launched a Legacy Fund supporting projects with a focus on environmental improvement, renewable natural resource education, renewable natural resource education and/or outreach programs, outdoor recreation improvement, or social/environmental commitment to the local communities.
The spruce beetle outbreak began to noticeably affect the CNC Research Forest in 2015. The onset resulted in a new management plan and two timber supply reviews in an attempt to reasonably forecast tree mortality and develop a quick management response. Ultimately, the CNC Research Forest increased the harvest level to remove spruce beetle populations and salvage spruce timber prior to significant wood degradation from drying and decay. This created an opportunity for the CNCRFS to re-invest a portion of the sale of spruce beetle affected timber back into the natural resources and people of the region served by CNC through this new Legacy Fund.
In March 2020, the CNCRFS awarded its first Legacy Fund grants, worth $45,000 each, to the Young Rainbow Warriors Society for the expansion of a permaculture area of a food forest park project in Burns Lake and the District of Mackenzie for the development of a 10-kilometre community trail connection to on-route recreation amenities within Mackenzie.
A new intake of project proposals for the CNCRFS Legacy Fund will open during the winter of 2020/2021 with funding being awarded in spring 2021.