The Province has issued a woodland licence to Campbell River's Wei Wai Kum First Nation, enhancing employment and economic opportunities in the region, Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced today.
This 25-year First Nations woodland licence allows the Wei Wai Kum to harvest almost 9,900 cubic metres of timber per year from their traditional territories. The agreement covers a 2,414 hectare parcel of Crown land near Heydon Bay on B.C.’s south central mainland coast and another 1,212 hectares by Pye Lake, north of Campbell River.
This is the third First Nations woodland licence issued since the Province began the program in 2011. These area-based, direct-award forest licences give First Nations a stronger role in forest and land stewardship and make it easier for First Nations forest companies to secure investment and loans.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations –
“The Province recognizes that First Nations like the Wei Wai Kum have a strong connection to the land and resources within their traditional territories. Along with creating economic opportunities, the new licence helps the Wei Wai Kum more effectively manage for traditional land use practices and take a stronger role in managing forests and lands in their traditional territories.”
Robert Pollard, Chief, Wei Wai Kum First Nation –
“We have enjoyed success with a variety of economic development projects including the Discovery Harbour Marina and Shopping Centre, House of Treasures native art and gift shop and the Thunderbird Campground. This new forest licence allows us to build on our strong economic base, while taking the lead in managing traditional lands and better conservation of our cultural interests in the region.”
- The Province signed the first direct-award agreement with First Nations in September 2002. Since then, the Province has signed forestry agreements with 177 First Nations providing $382 million in revenue-sharing and providing access to 180 million cubic metres of timber.
- First Nations woodland licences have also been awarded to the Huu-ay-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island and the Canim Lake Indian Band in the Cariboo.
First Nations forestry agreements: http://www.newrelationship.gov.bc.ca/agreements_and_leg/forestry.html
B.C.'s forest sector strategy: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/Forest_Strategy_WEB.PDF
First Nations Forestry Council: http://www.fnforestrycouncil.ca/