B.C., Stellat’en partner in forestry agreement
By P&PC staff
By P&PC staff
May 10, 2018 – A new forestry agreement has been signed in British Columbia between the province and Stellat’en First Nation that gives the latter an enhanced voice in local forest stewardship and greater opportunity for economic development.
“Through this agreement, the Stellat’en First Nation will be able to tap into an additional revenue stream, and will have an opportunity for greater input into local forest stewardship,” Doug Donaldson, minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, said.
The agreement moves British Columbia and the Stellat’en further down the path of reconciliation.
The agreement, a 25-year First Nations woodland licence, will provide the Stellat’en with the opportunity to sustainably harvest 32,500 cubic metres of timber per year, for the first five years, with a step down to mid-forecast levels for the remaining years. The area-based licence covers 10,781 hectares of Crown land approximately 60 kilometres west of Vanderhoof, near Fraser Lake. The licence area will be managed by Stellat’en Duchun Forestry Inc., owned by Stellat’en First Nation.
“We are looking to redefine our relationships with First Nations by implementing the principles of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and this agreement is another example of our work towards shared prosperity,” Scott Fraser, minister of indigenous relations and reconciliation, said.
The agreement aligns with the province’s goal of greater reconciliation with First Nations, and supports the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, by providing enhanced economic opportunity for First Nations communities.
“This agreement will help us continue to ensure that local land and forest resources are managed, protected and developed for the mutual benefit of Stellat’en members and the people of British Columbia. It will also open doors on employment opportunities and another revenue stream for our First Nation,” Stellat’en Chief Archie Patrick said.
This is the 12th First Nations woodland licence issued since the province began the program in 2011. In addition to giving First Nations a stronger role in forest and land stewardship, these long-term, area-based, direct-award forest licences make it easier for First Nations forest companies to secure investment and loans.
• First Nations hold 11.8 per cent of the provincial allowable annual cut – a total of 4.6 per cent of the allowable annual cut in competitively held tenures, and 7.2 per cent of the allowable annual cut in direct award tenures.
• First Nations woodland licences have been awarded to the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Wei Wai Kum First Nation, Hupacasath First Nation, Tseshaht First Nation, Canim Lake Indian Band, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations, Esk’etemc First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Stellat’en First Nation.
For more information, visit www.stellaten.ca.