The FHABC was formed on March 29, 1982 in Vancouver. This organizational meeting was well-attended by people from many backgrounds and disciplines. They agreed that the purpose and objectives of the association would be to promote awareness of, appreciation for and preservation of the forest history of British Columbia. The consensus of the charter members present was that the association should assume a promotional and coordinating role, and not collect archival material. Rather, the association should encourage the assembly, cataloguing and deposition of such material in the appropriate local, regional, provincial or federal archival facilities.
An annual general meeting (possibly in conjunction with a fieldtrip) was agreed upon, plus the thrice-yearly publication of a newsletter. After voting in favour of the formal creation of the association, an executive consisting of a President, Vice-President and members-at-large was elected. From the members-at-large a Secretary, Treasurer and Newsletter Editor were later appointed by the executive.
The British Columbia Forest History Newsletter, in production for over 30 years, predates the association and traces its origins to a meeting organized by the Forest History Society, then of Santa Cruz, California, and held at the University of British Columbia on April 27, 1981. When the FHABC came into being the next spring the newsletter then became its official organ.