100 MILE HOUSE - The Province has issued a First Nations' woodland licence to the Tsq'escenemc people of the Canim Lake Band, enhancing economic opportunities and forest stewardship in the region, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.
The licence allows the band to harvest up to 20,000 cubic metres of timber a year -about 5,000 logging truckloads -- from a 21,400-hectare parcel of Crown land next to the Canim Lake Reserve.
The agreement is the second First Nations' woodland licence signed under a new program designed to provide long-term, area-based logging rights to First Nations. The length of the licences, which provides a minimum 25-year tenure, makes it easier for First Nations to secure investment and loans for forestry operations.
The agreement supports 'Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia', which identifies First Nations' partnerships as a priority when it comes to advancing economic and environmental sustainability in B.C.'s forest sector.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"The Tsq'escenemc have a great track record when it comes to managing forestry operations. The First Nations woodland licence program gives the band the long-term stability it needs to build a sustainable business and to provide effective stewardship."
Chief Michael G. Archie, Canim Lake Band -
"The Canim Lake Band is committed to self-sufficiency through education, economic development, social development, and effective management of our lands and resources. Government's First Nations woodland licence program is helping us grow our existing forestry operation and providing us with long-term economic and employment opportunities."
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett -
"Since 2001 the B.C. government has invested $884 million on forest management and economic development in the mountain pine beetle-impacted areas, to assist forestry-dependent communities like ours to diversify their economic base."
"This new agreement is a positive step for the Canim Lake band and for families, businesses and workers across the region."
- The Tsq'escenemc, or Canim Lake, Band is located by Canim Lake, about 36 kilometres northeast of 100 Mile House.
- More than 570 band members live on six reserves spread over 2,059 hectares.
- In December 2011, the B.C. government and the Huu-ay-aht First Nation of Vancouver Island's southwest coast, signed the first-ever First Nations' woodland licence agreement.
Canim Lake Band: http://www.canimlakeband.com/
First Nations Forestry Agreements: http://www.newrelationship.gov.bc.ca/agreements_and_leg/forestry.html
Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/Forest_Strategy_WEB.PDF
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations