Western Forest Products comments on BC/Haida Gwaii agreement
December 18, 2007 By Pulp & Paper Canada
Duncan, BC — Western Forest Products has been advised that the government of British Columbia has signed a Strateg…
Duncan, BC — Western Forest Products has been advised that the government of British Columbia has signed a Strategic Land Use Agreement with the Council of the Haida Nation dealing with land use and resource management issues in the Haida Gwaii or Queen Charlotte Islands. The agreement recommends adding approximately 254,000 hectares of land on the Islands (representing an additional 25.3% of the total land base) to existing protected areas for cultural, spiritual and recreational values. The agreement also calls for detailed strategic and forest planning to determine the operational timber harvest levels on the remaining timber harvesting land base, using ecosystem-based management objectives; it is expected this will be completed in 24 months.
Western is not able to determine the nature or extent of the eventual harvest levels either within our tenure areas, or on the Queen Charlotte Islands generally, until this planning has been completed. The terms of the SLUA provide for an initial total harvest level of at least 800,000 cubic meters. The total harvest level has most recently been in the 1.2 million cubic metre range annually by all license holders, with Western accounting for approximately 45% this. Western will be seeking appropriate compensation should there be any deletions from its tenures.
Westerns current Allowable Annual Cut in the Queen Charlotte Islands of approximately 510,000 cubic metres represents about 7% of the company’s harvest from Crown lands from all of our timber licenses, and had been temporarily reduced from the previous 803,000 cubic metres by the provincial Chief Forester to account for areas which had been designated by Cabinet under Part 13 of the Forest Act as a result of earlier land use discussions.
Logs harvested from the Queen Charlotte Islands by the company provide a portion of the log supply for several of our mills on Vancouver Island. Consequently, to the extent they cannot be replaced through log purchases, any reductions in the log supply as a result of the SLUA may adversely affect lumber and wood chip manufacturing and sales.
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