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Haida Nation and B.C. sign forest tenure agreement

For Immediate Release
2014FLNR0029-000374
March 26, 2014
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

VICTORIA – The Province has signed a Forest Tenure Agreement with the Council of the Haida Nation fulfilling a major component of the historic 2009 “Kunst’ aa Guu – Kunst’aayah” Reconciliation Protocol.

Under the agreement, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Council of the Haida Nation agree to establish an area based tenure on the east coast of Graham Island and Moresby Island on Haida Gwaii. Taan Forest Products Ltd. is invited to apply for a First Nations Woodland Licence.

The area-based licence will have a proposed allowable annual cut of 134,210 cubic metres. Some of the allowable annual cut will be used to support BC Timber Sales in delivering the market-based timber pricing system through a co-operative management agreement between Taan Forest Products Ltd. and BC Timber Sales.

The 2012 report “Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia,” recommended First Nations become full partners in the forest sector. Today’s Forest Tenure Agreement is the seventh signed for this new form of tenure since it was introduced in 2011 to address First Nations’ unique interests in land and resources.

First Nation Woodland Licences provide the licence holder with exclusive rights to harvest timber and the right to manage other forest resources within the licence area. First Nation communities and the Province continue to develop these opportunities, with the potential for up to 10 more First Nation Woodland Licences to be issued in 2014/15.

Quotes:

Vice President of the Council of the Haida Nation Trevor Russ –

“The Haida Nation has been working with the province since 2009 to fulfill obligations made to each other in the Kunst’aa Guu – Kunst’aayah agreement. The signing of this forest tenure is a major component of that agreement and acknowledges another step between the Haida Nation and the province in this incremental approach to reconciliation. This area based tenure will assist the Haida Nation in managing forest resources differently on Haida Gwaii, which will provide new opportunities for the Haida Nation.”

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –

“Today’s announcement is an example of a respectful collaboration between the Province and the Haida Nation. With this signing, the Haida Nation will have greater certainty in land-use decisions and the knowledge that any benefits stay with the people of the Haida Nation.”

Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad –

“The agreement fulfills a commitment made in the Haida Reconciliation Protocol and provides the Haida Nation with new job opportunities and income streams that will contribute to strengthening local economies.”

Quick Facts:

Since 2002, the Province has signed agreements with 177 First Nations providing $354 million in forestry revenue-sharing and providing access to 62 million cubic metres of timber.

Currently there are over 395 forestry-related licences held by First Nations under different agreements throughout the province.

Since legislation was enacted in 2011, two First Nation Woodland Licences have been issued and up to 10 more are under development throughout the province.

As of October 2013, First Nations have access to approximately 11 million cubic metres or 13.6% of the Province’s allowable annual cut.

Learn More:

Forest Sector Strategy for B.C.: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/
Other First Nation forest tenures in B.C.: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/haa/fn_agreements.htm
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
To view a photo from the signing of the agreement: https://flic.kr/p/mr6gHD

Media Contact:

Greig Bethel
Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

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