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Vaagen Fibre Canada, Osoyoos Indian Band collaborate on forest management


March 2, 2022
By Vaagen Fibre Canada

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Photo courtesy Vaagen Fibre Canada.

Vaagen Fibre Canada and the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) are doing things differently by creating mutually beneficial opportunities that meet the expectations of local communities. Vaagen’s latest Achievement Report highlights the importance of collaborative efforts within forest management and how partnerships are fundamental to community development and cultural preservation.

“Our partnership with OIB helps to keep our community mill in Midway operating,” said Dan Macmaster, RPF, fibre manager for Vaagen. “Utilizing proper forest management and input from community members is our approach and of the utmost importance.”

An example of this unique approach can be found in a Forestry Management Strategic Plan Vaagen is creating with the OIB. It is a guiding document for Nk’Mip forestry practices and provides a solid foundation built on utilizing past knowledge and current forestry practices.

“Meshing together cultural knowledge and modern-day strategies will produce an optimal result on the ground and aligns with the intentions of the OIB and the principles they support,” said Peter Flett, RPF, forester with Vaagen.

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OIB and Vaagen’s collaborative work reflects First Nations’ values and the objectives the OIB wants to see implemented across the landscape on their traditional territory, something Vern Louie of Nk’Mip Forestry sees as the future.

“We work side-by-side with the team at Vaagen Fibre Canada to co-manage our forests,” said Louie. “Our work is done through the lens of our culture and best forestry practices. Together, we’re ensuring the continued prosperity of our people and our land.”

The Achievement Report presents the goals of the Forestry Management Strategic Plan and details key projects including a Wildlife Recovery and Restoration project. This project, and several others featured in the Report, represent the team’s creative approach to forest management and reflect a deep commitment to cultural preservation, plus sustainable, reliable access to fibre.

“Having the OIB community involved with everything from initial planning to operations is key in ensuring highly sensitive cultural areas aren’t disturbed,” said Flett. “There is immense knowledge of the land and its history within the OIB and I learn something new from every conversation I have with an OIB community member.”

For details on the forestry projects Vaagen and OIB are collaborating on, view the Achievement Report online.