Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Press Release: MFLNRO and NRRM Meeting

 

 

Positive Outcomes from Meeting between the

Northern Rockies and Minister Thomson on Forestry

 

April 21, 2016

 

On April 11th a delegation from the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality led by Mayor Bill Streeper and including Councillor Danny Soles and Planning Department staff met with the Honourable Steve Thompson, BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA Pat Pimm to discuss the Province’s involvement in the NRRM’s Forest Rejuvenation Project.

 

The Northern Rockies proposal to work toward forming a working partnership between the Province, area First Nations, and the Regional Municipality was favourably received. As a result of discussions, the Minister has made the initiative a priority and has committed staff resources to work with the NRRM to move the project forward. Initial working meetings are planned to take place within 60 days or less. Work on the development of a Memorandum of Understanding setting out specific Terms of Reference for the partnership is set to begin shortly.

 

“We were very pleased with the reception Minister Thomson gave our proposal” said Mayor Streeper. “He understands fully the importance of forestry to the economy and stability of all the communities in the Northern Rockies and is prepared to support us in re-establishing it on a sustainable footing.”

 

The proposal presented to the Minister stems from the work done by the NRRM on the Forestry Rejuvenation Project over the last 2 years. One of the key elements of the proposal is to achieve greater local influence over policy affecting the development, stewardship and use of the forest resource in the Fort Nelson Forest District. It emphasizes the benefits to the Region and the province of a well-managed forest industry, and highlights the contribution to be made by the initiative and expertise of those who live in the Northern Rockies.

 

Both the NRRM representatives and the Minister agreed in their discussions, on the need for the participation of area First Nations in any significant undertaking to do with the forest resource. Mayor Streeper stated that “The involvement of our First Nations neighbours in making this project a success is very important. If we get this right, all our communities will see major benefits.” To this end the Regional Municipality will continue to engage with First Nations.

 

The Northern Rockies also hopes to host a visit by Minister Thomson at an early date.  This will give him an opportunity to see firsthand the assets and opportunities the region has to offer.

 

Regional Council is committed to keeping the community informed as progress is made on the Forestry Rejuvenation Project.

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