WESTBANK - The Province has awarded a replaceable forest licence to Westbank First Nation, a move that will enhance economic and employment opportunities in the area, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced today at a signing ceremony in Westbank.
The licence covers approximately 9,000 hectares of Crown land within the Derickson Trapline, a 16,000-hectare area in the West Kettle River area, encompassing Two John Lake, Derickson Lake, Mount Moore, Jubilee Mountain and St. Margaret Lake. The area is historically significant to the band, and is home to traditional marten trap lines.
This new licence gives Westbank First Nation the right to harvest up to 32,400 cubic metres of timber a year, and has an initial 15-year term.
Minister of Forests and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"We have been working closely with Westbank First Nation for the past two years to make this replaceable forest licence a reality. It is a great opportunity - not just for the First Nation - but for the workers and forestry-related businesses across the region. This new licence is part of the government's ongoing plan to support prosperous rural forest economies by improving access to forest tenures."
Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie -
"Westbank First Nation is a rising force in Canada's economy, creating jobs and a strong and vibrant workforce. This new forest licence creates new opportunities that will have positive spinoffs for WFN and for the region as a whole."
"We have worked closely with the Province to make this licence a reality, and are proud as we take another step to ensure the self-sufficiency and sustainability of WFN."
- Forest Sector Strategy for B.C.: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/
- Westbank First Nation: http://www.wfn.ca/
- 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.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations