Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Media Release: Future of Forestry in the Northern Rockies is Buoyed by Provincial Announcements

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July 18, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Release

The Future of Forestry in the Northern Rockies is

Buoyed by Provincial Announcements

 

FORT NELSON, BC - The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM) is heartened to receive the July 15th announcements regarding the results of the Province’s Timber Supply Review for the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area (TSA), and approval of the joint Community Forest Application submitted in partnership with Fort Nelson First Nation.

 

The logging and wood manufacturing industry has historically been a mainstay of the regional economy, with Fort Nelson having been named the Forest Capital of BC in 2006. Since the closure of the lumber, plywood and OSB mills as a result of the 2008 financial crisis however, the forest sector has been on hiatus. The Northern Rockies Forestry Rejuvenation initiative undertaken in 2014 prioritized the establishment of a diversified, sustainable wood manufacturing sector,  reinforced by the recently released NRRM Regional Economic Strategy.

 

By determining an uplift in the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) by 59% to 2.58 million cubic metres (m3), Deputy Chief Forester Shane Berg has recognized the capacity of the municipality’s robust forest resource to sustain an economically viable forest manufacturing sector, while striking a healthy balance with critical conservation demands. The decision also addresses the question as to the certainty of wood fiber supply on the minds of many potential investors.

 

The NRRM is in complete agreement with the Deputy Chief Forester’s assessment that his “… decision will encourage forestry opportunities for First Nations and other operators, while maintaining responsible management of biodiversity objectives.”

 

A key component in the Northern Rockies’ pursuit of Forestry Rejuvenation has been the acquisition of a Community Forest license to permit greater local influence over the use of the region’s forest resource. The approved tenure to the Fort Nelson First Nation/NRRM partnership marks the successful culmination of a significant collaborative effort over a two-year period, promising mutual benefit to the community forest partners and their respective communities. At an AAC of roughly 217,000 m3 in an area of just short of 200,000 hectares, the license will be the largest in BC, both in terms of volume and physical size.

 

This affirmative outcome demonstrates what can be accomplished when First Nations, local governments and the Province cooperate to secure a common objective. The NRRM is appreciative of the contributions made by all involved, and expects that the relationships formed through this exercise will grow as the work necessary to capitalize on the opportunity continues.

 

“Taken together these announcements lay the groundwork for the return of a diverse, sustainable forest industry to the Northern Rockies,” said Mayor Gary Foster. “While our work is not complete yet, we’re getting closer to being out of the woods…and back into forestry.”

 

Additional References:

Community Forest Announcement: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0190-001455

Timber Supply Review Announcement: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0187-001442

NRRM Regional Economic Strategy: https://nr.civicweb.net/document/151041

 

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For more Information:

Mike Gilbert

Regional Development Officer

P: 250.774.2541 ext. 2041

E: mgilbert@northernrockies.ca

 

Jack Stevenson

Regional Development Officer

P:  250.774.2541 ext. 2043 

E: jstevenson@northernrockies.ca

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