Pacheedaht get logging rights and revenues

First Nation band signs agreements to benefit financially and socially.

TFL 61 in Jordan River part of former TFL 25

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

At the turn of the century hereditary Pacheedaht Chief Queesto  worked as a logger at Jordan River, now members of the band will once again be involved in logging.

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.

“We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership on the TFL that will provide opportunity for the people of the area,” said Chief Marvin McClurg of the Pacheedaht First Nation on the Queesto website. “To move an acquisition like this forward you need the right partners and we have found them with the Andersen Family.”

The TFL will be owned by a newly formed company called Pacheedaht Andersen Timber Holdings Limited Partnership, (PATH) with daily operations managed by the General Partner, Queesto Community Forest Ltd. It is expected that TFL 61 will begin operations in March 2011.

Partner David Clarke said the band and his company have been general partners with the Pacheedaht for the past three or four years. He is president of Queesto Community Forest Limited, the company under Pacheedaht Andersen Timber Holdings Limited Partnership (PATH),  the new owners of TFL 61 located, located at Jordan River and is a subdivision of Block 1 from TFL 25. There is no private land attached to this TFL.

Tree Farm Licence 61 covers 20,213 hectares and has an allowable annual cut of 108,500 cubic metres. The value of the TFL is $2.7 million.

“We’re excited to see that,” said Clarke. “To get the TFL going again. “Right now our plan is to do it the way it was done up until two years ago.”

That means they will be utilizing the dry land log sort at Jordan River for sorting and booming the logs in the river and towing them to Beecher Bay.

“As long as the trees are growing we’ll be there logging,” he added.

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.”

The new Forestry Consultation Revenue Sharing Agreements replace the previous Forest and Range Opportunity Agreements (FRO), which based payments on a community’s population rather than linking them directly to harvesting activity. Since November 2010, B.C. has replaced 14 FROs with the new agreements and is actively negotiating with more than 50 First Nations across the province. The revenue-sharing model for these new agreements is based on input from First Nations and the Working Roundtable on Forestry’s recommendations.

 

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