VICTORIA – The Tlowitsis Tribe and the Province have reached a two-year agreement that will help test leading-edge forest practices in the Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan area.
“We are looking to First Nations to help revitalize our coastal forest sector,” said Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman. “This agreement will help the Province and the Tlowitsis learn more about ecosystem-based management.”
Under the negotiated agreement, the Tlowitsis may harvest up to 41,020 cubic metres of timber as part of a two-year ecosystem-based management (EBM) pilot project. EBM is a new, adaptive management approach that strives to balance healthy ecosystems with a vibrant economy and communities.
“As one of 25 First Nations consulted on the Central Coast LRMP, we support forest management practices that combine a bright economic future with our environmental and cultural values,” said Chief John M. 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 is completed, the Tlowitsis will complete a report and share it with the provincial government. The results will help shape the implementation of EBM within the Central Coast LRMP.
Announced Feb. 7, the Central Coast and North Coast land-use decisions cover a combined area of more than 6.4 million hectares, with 1.8 million hectares set aside in protected areas.
world, the Central Coast and North Coast land use decisions are celebrated as
major global achievements,” said Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell. “The
co-operation of the many First Nations who call these areas home was vital to this success. This EBM project will further showcase the First Nations’ commitment to balancing environmental and socio-economic interests.”
The Tlowitsis have also secured a five-year, $850,000 forest and range agreement with the Province, providing access to 51,275 cubic metres of timber within the Strathcona Timber Supply Area. The Tribe has 11 reserves, largely in the Johnstone Strait area.
Since 2002, agreements have been reached with 109 First Nations, granting access to more than 17.5 million cubic metres of timber and sharing $123.5 million in revenue.