One of the last ‘small towns’ in the Lower Mainland, the District of Mission operates a successful Municipal Forest (TFL #26) that offers recreational and economic benefits to local residents.

The District of Mission is nestled on a southern coastal mountain slope, overlooking the lush valley of the mighty Fraser River. Founded in 1892, Mission was originally inhabited by the Stó:lō First Nations people. Today, this rapidly growing and dynamic centre is home to a population of over 39,000 residents.

Ideally situated, Mission is just a 15-minute drive from the US border, and approximately 70km east of the City of Vancouver. From rivers to mountain tops, nature has always been at its core.  Recreational activities from world class salmon and sturgeon fishing, to hiking and mountain biking in Mission’s forests, are favorite past-times of residents and visitors.

Rich History

During the early 1900’s, hydroelectric dams at Ruskin and Stave began construction to provide the community with clean and renewable electricity. Over 30 shake and shingle mills were established along the Fraser River and throughout the community. The old growth cedar became abundant and accessible through the flooding of reservoirs, and parcels of land throughout Mission were sold across North America as prosperity flourished.

However, in the 1930’s, many of the lands reverted back to the city due to non-payment of taxes. The Mayor and council began to realize the importance of forestry, and established a Forest Reserve which protected these lands.  They lobbied the province to manage the Crown lands surrounding the parcels, in order to control the management of lands within the municipal boundaries.

By 1958, the District of Mission was finally successful and Tree Farm Licence #26 was awarded. To this day, the Forestry Department manages Mission Tree Farm Licence #26 – also known as the Mission Municipal Forest. The forest area is approximately 10,000 hectares, of which 12% is municipally owned and 88% is provincial crown land.  Major forestry programs include harvesting, reforestation, plantation brushing, tree spacing and pruning, road construction, forest fire prevention, forest interpretation, education and recreation.

Community Benefits

The forestry operation provides local full-time and part-time employment, environmental protection of wildlife habitat, cultural and spiritual values, and tourism opportunities.  With its proximity to Greater Vancouver and over 1.5 million people, it is ideally situated for daytrips to many of the rivers and lakes and surrounding forest lands, trails, and logging roads.  Forest education is offered to local schools and interest groups, showcasing small scale sustainable harvesting practices and the shared use of resource lands.

Revenues generated through harvesting are held in reserve accounts to ensure long-term financial stability of the forest operation.  Surplus revenues are invested in the community in a variety of ways, as determined by Mayor and council. In previous years, $700,000 went towards a new library and archives, $13,000 for Firehall improvements and a new firetruck, and $170,000 towards ice rink conversion.  Over $3 million has been committed to funding downtown improvements and a new Senior’s Centre in the near future.


Plans are underway towards providing future recreation opportunities and infrastructure in the west Stave Lake area.  The vision is to transform this beautiful region into a compelling destination for residents and visitors alike.  Partnering with the local First Nations Communities, we are identifying ideal locations for commercial recreation, while also creating cultural learning opportunities.

As one of the last ‘small towns’ in the Lower Mainland, Mission continues to stay true to its roots. New residents are delighted to explore and find out about the incredible natural resources and recreation opportunities that exist only 10 minutes north of the town centre.

About Forestry Friendly Communities BC

Learn more

Forestry Friendly Communities was started in 2016 as a way to celebrate the proud history and rich future of BC’s coast forest sector.  The term “Forestry Friendly” is intended to recognize pride in, and an ongoing commitment to BC’s forestry sector. In fact, the forest sector supports 1 in 16 jobs in BC. It also contributes $12.4 billion to the provincial GDP and injects $2.5 billion in taxes and fees to the three levels of government.

For more than a century, the forest sector has fueled our coastal economy and shaped our communities. Today, people and businesses across BC’s coastal region depend on transportation networks and other services developed for our forest sector. Families are able to earn a living while enjoying a unique West Coast lifestyle.

Forestry Friendly Communities is proudly brought to you by companies and associations working in forestry in coastal BC.