Ken Foot, who is the woodlands manager for the Harrop-Procter Community Forest, normally receives requests for flooring, decking, and siding. But recently, he received a rather unusual call from Vancouver-based Raincoast Books: "Can you make us 500 broomsticks?"
The Harrop-Procter Community Forest (HPCF), which is halfway through a five-year pilot project aimed at creating a profitable, environmentally friendly logging and lumber-sale operation, recently received a magical public relations opportunity courtesy of the world's most famous teenaged wizard -- Harry Potter.
In a marketing move prompted by the Canadian publisher of the latest Potter saga, the community forest group has produced 500 broomsticks from its 11,000-hectare, selectively logged forest.
Vancouver-based Raincoast Books is using the brooms to promote author JK Rowlings' fifth installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Raincoast's offer was a perfect fit for the local eco-forest project. Raincoast publicity manager Tessa Vanderkop says her company is the only one of 55 publishers world-wide to print its entire run -- now up to 1.2 million copies -- on recycled paper, saving the equivalent of more than 30,000 trees.
Adds Foot: "We're happy to be a part of any organization that promotes better forestry. Organizations that think along these lines are aligned with us."
The public relations order was also timely. Last May, the Harrop-Procter project became the first community forest in B.C. to be internationally recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), based in Bonn, Germany.