A rebounding forestry sector, revenue from forestry activity and a new Forest Tenure Opportunity Agreement will see the Pacheedaht First Nation in Port Renfrew benefit financially and socially.
On March 8, the Pacheedaht First Nation became the 14th First Nation to sign a new type of agreement that sees a percentage of forestry revenue returned directly to the community, announced Forests, Mines and Lands Minister Pat Bell.
The signing of the three-year Forestry Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreement (FCRSA) gives the First Nation a percentage of revenue from forestry activity in their traditional territory, which will be used to support social and community development programs. In the first year, Pacheedaht will receive approximately $104,000 under the agreement.
In addition to the FCRSA, Bell confirmed that he had approved the transfer request (purchase) from Western Forest Products to Pacheedaht/Canadian Overseas of Tree Farm Licence 61 near Jordan River. Tree Farm Licence 61 covers 20,213 hectares and has an allowable annual cut of 108,500 cubic metres. Canadian Overseas is a Vancouver-based group of companies operating in and providing services to the forest products industry. Their activities include: ownerships and management of timber operations, appraisal of timber resources, log sale and purchase as well as marketing and financing.
“Forestry plays a key role in building a better economic future for the Pacheedaht community,” said Bell. “With this new revenue-sharing forestry agreement and their purchase of Tree Farm Licence 61, they are in an excellent position to benefit as our forest sector is rebounding.”
In addition to their new FCRSA and TFL purchase, Pacheedaht are in preliminary discussions with B.C. about a new Forest Tenure Opportunity Agreement, which would provide for the direct award of a forest tenure, and may include the new First Nations Woodlands Licence.
“Community development is immensely important to the Pacheedaht First Nation,” said Chief Marvin McClurg. “This new agreement, in conjunction with our other forestry activities, will allow us to focus our energies and revenue on moving our Community Plan forward for the benefit of people today and for future generations.”