Eco-system pilot tried on Port Neville land

By Gazette staff
Sep 07 2006

Leading edge forest practices will be tested in the Port Neville area after a two-year agreement between the provincial government and the Tlowitsis Tribe.

"We are looking to First Nations to help revitalize our coastal forest sector," said Forest and Range Minister Rich Coleman. "This agreement will help the province and the Tlowitsis learn more about ecosystem-based management."

Under the agreement, the Tlowitsis may harvest up to 41,020 cubic metres of timber as part of a two-year Eco-system Based Management (EBM) pilot project using an adaptive management approach striving to balance healthy eco-systems with a vibrant economy and communities, they say.

"As one of the 25 First Nations consulted on the Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan, we support forest management practices that combine a bright economic future with our environmental and cultural values," said Chief John W. Smith. "We went to government with a proposal to conduct our own EBM trial and they listened."

The pilot is the first to focus on second-growth stands, and explore the impacts of EBM on harvesting levels and operating costs. When the pilot project is done, the Tlowitsis will complete a report and share it with the provincial government.

In addition, the Tlowitsis have secured a five-year, $850,000 forest and range agreement with the provincial government which provides access to 51,275 cubic metres of timber within the Strathcona Timber Supply Area.

The tribe has 11 reserves, largely in the Johnstone Strait areas.

Copyright 2006 North Island Gazette