B.C. extends aboriginal forest rights

The B.C. government is extending its interim forest and range agreements with aboriginal people to include a new 25-year woodland licence for Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is extending its interim forest and range agreements with aboriginal people to include a new 25-year woodland licence for Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced the new licence Tuesday, one of a series of initiatives to mark National Aboriginal Day. It will provide exclusive rights to harvest Timber on designated Crown land, as well as rights to harvest, manage and charge fees for botanical forest products.

The B.C. government has signed 172 interim forest agreements with aboriginal groups since 2002, as a starting point for broader land and resource settlements that accompany treaties. More than 90 per cent of B.C. is Crown land, much of it subject to unresolved aboriginal land claims.

“This is something First Nations have been specifically asking for,” Thomson said. “We’ve been working closely with them to develop a licence that meets their specific needs and supports their participation in the forest sector.”

First Nations woodland licence holders are required to prepare management and operational plans, to comply with harvest regulations imposed on commercial forest operators. The licences are to be awarded without competition.

Aboriginal Relations Minister Mary Polak also announced $2.2 million in federal and provincial funding Tuesday for trades training directed to aboriginal people. The Industry Training Authority will administer the training to an estimated 350 participants in two dozen or more B.C. communities.

Another training program announced Tuesday funds three programs to train 36 aboriginal people for work in shellfish farming on the B.C. coast.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rock painting gains popularity on Vancouver Island

Facebook groups formed for people to share ideas, gift painted rocks

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Most Read