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WFP, ‘Namgis First Nation to collaborate on forest management planning


September 27, 2021
By Western Forest Products

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‘Namgis First Nation (‘Namgis) and Western Forest Products Inc. (Western) are excited to announce the launch of the TFL 37 Forest Landscape Plan Pilot project. Through this project, ‘Namgis and Western will jointly develop an innovative and progressive plan to sustainably manage Tree Farm Licence 37 (TFL 37) and inform co-operative decision making between them. The pilot will also provide recommendations for joint decision-making between ‘Namgis and the province of B.C.

Much of the TFL 37 boundary follows the height of land closely associated with ‘Namgis Territory. The three areas covered by the plan include the area-based tenure managed by Western, a replaceable forest licence managed by a ‘Namgis-owned corporation, and the operating area of the Danyas Limited
Partnership, established by ‘Namgis and Western in 2015 with the support of the province. The plan supports ‘Namgis’ and Western’s mutual objectives of protecting resources for generations to come and providing economic benefits.

“‘Namgis look forward to starting the work, with Western, to ensure that our descendants and indeed the descendants of north islanders are able to prosper in a vibrant and sustainable forestry future,” said Chief Don Svanvik of ‘Namgis First Nation.

“Building on our strong commitment to collaboration, Western is excited to embark on a new approach to joint planning in our area-based tenures,” said Shannon Janzen, Western’s chief forester and vice-president, partnerships & sustainability. “We are excited and honoured to be working with ‘Namgis to
develop a made-in-the-North-Island plan to guide sustainable forest management in TFL 37, which includes the Nimpkish Valley, the heart of the ‘Namgis Territory.”

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The draft plan and recommendations are anticipated to be complete by the end of 2022. As the TFL 37 Pilot progresses, there will be engagement with the ‘Namgis community and other First Nations, as well as information sessions with Western employees and contractors, local and regional government, and the Nimpkish Woodlands Advisory Committee. Once complete, the draft plan will be made available for public comment prior to the final review and approval by the provincial chief forester. The draft plan and recommendations are anticipated to inform amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act, implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and strengthen the ongoing relationship between ‘Namgis and Western.

‘Namgis and Western acknowledge the Office of the Chief Forester, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development which, in conjunction with Western, has provided the necessary financial and in-kind support for the TFL 37 Pilot, to which they are also a signatory.