Stellat’en, province sign woodland deal

Forest Minister Doug Donaldson
Forest Minister Doug Donaldson

The Stellat’en First Nation have signed a forestry agreement with the province.

The agreement, a 25-year First Nations woodland licence, will provide the Stellat’en with the opportunity to sustainably harvest 32,500 cubic metres of timber per year, for the first five years, with a step down to mid-forecast levels for the remaining years. The area-based licence covers 10,781 hectares of Crown land approximately 60 kilometres west of Vanderhoof, near Fraser Lake. The licence area will be managed by Stellat’en Duchun Forestry Inc., owned by Stellat’en First Nation.

“Through this agreement, the Stellat’en First Nation will be able to tap into an additional revenue stream, and will have an opportunity for greater input into local forest stewardship,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in a news release.

“This agreement will help us continue to ensure that local land and forest resources are managed, protected and developed for the mutual benefit of Stellat’en members and the people of British Columbia. It will also open doors on employment opportunities and another revenue stream for our First Nation,” said Stellat’en Chief Archie Patrick.

This is the 12th First Nations woodland licence issued since the province began the program in 2011. In addition to giving First Nations a stronger role in forest and land stewardship, these long-term, area-based, direct-award forest licences make it easier for First Nations forest companies to secure investment and loans.