Lheidli T’enneh sign largest First Nations woodland license

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The Lheidli T’enneh will have exclusive timber harvesting rights to approximately 217,312 hectares

Lheidli T’enneh First Nation will receive enhanced forest stewardship benefits and exclusive harvesting rights over timber resources on Nation lands through a First Nations Forestry License (FNWL) in under a new forest tenure opportunity agreement, the largest such deal in British Columbia to date.

The Forest Tenure Opportunities Agreement was negotiated at an intergovernmental negotiation table established by the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and the Government of British Columbia in 2021.

“The province has heard loud and clear that BC First Nations want to play a greater role in the forestry sector and in sustainable forest management. This is why we are engaging in a government-to-government dialogue that takes into account the inherent rights, diversity of interests and values ​​of Indigenous communities,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests.

“Today’s agreement is real progress toward meaningful reconciliation and fulfilling our commitment to create new opportunities for Indigenous peoples by doubling the amount of replaceable forest tenure held by First Nations.

She said the province recognizes that the forests of British Columbia are woven into the fabric of Indigenous culture, as well as the culture of all British Columbians and that we are all deeply connected to them.

“Our incredible forests are part of what makes our province a great place to live, and they’re integral to supporting communities like the Lheildi T’enneh.

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation will have exclusive timber harvesting rights to approximately 217,312 hectares within the Nation’s territories east of Prince George, on the north and south sides of the Highway 16 corridor, known as the name of FNWL N2E.

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation Management Plan for the FNWL supports decision-making authority over the planning, development, harvesting and cultural use of forest resources and values ​​in the region.

Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan said the new forest tenure opportunities agreement with the BC government provides greater economic and forest stewardship benefits for the nation.

“Our new First Nations Forestry License will allow us to achieve greater economic certainty and the ability to act on our forest stewardship priorities, including supporting increased moose populations, which is a traditional source of food for our members. We will continue to work with our forest industry to achieve these goals and we thank the Government of British Columbia for believing in our vision and our ability to manage our forest resources. »

Logan said this new woodland permit allows the Nation to manage these lands both for timber and to increase the moose population and will be focused on retaining old-growth forests, while working to manage forests.

“I know we can do this because we’ve been doing this for many, many years,” Logan said, adding that the deal will also mean lumber for local sawmills, jobs at pulp mills for members and an increase in harvest for LTN’s own logging company. which they took over in April 2021 as well as new opportunities for other entrepreneurs

“If there was ever an example of a win-win situation, this is it,” Logan said.

The existing FNWL N2E was originally awarded on December 15, 2015 and is owned by the Tano T’enneh General Partner Corporation of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.

The new agreement will expand N2E from a gross land area of ​​11,000 hectares, which supports an annual allowable cut (AAC) of 25,000 cubic meters, to a new gross land base of approximately 217,312 hectares, supporting a new combined AAC up to 380,573 cubic meters. This will be the largest FNWL (by AAFC) in the province.

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