B.C. extends aboriginal forest rights

The B.C. government is extending its interim forest and range agreements with aboriginal people to include a new 25-year woodland licence for Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is extending its interim forest and range agreements with aboriginal people to include a new 25-year woodland licence for Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced the new licence Tuesday, one of a series of initiatives to mark National Aboriginal Day. It will provide exclusive rights to harvest Timber on designated Crown land, as well as rights to harvest, manage and charge fees for botanical forest products.

The B.C. government has signed 172 interim forest agreements with aboriginal groups since 2002, as a starting point for broader land and resource settlements that accompany treaties. More than 90 per cent of B.C. is Crown land, much of it subject to unresolved aboriginal land claims.

“This is something First Nations have been specifically asking for,” Thomson said. “We’ve been working closely with them to develop a licence that meets their specific needs and supports their participation in the forest sector.”

First Nations woodland licence holders are required to prepare management and operational plans, to comply with harvest regulations imposed on commercial forest operators. The licences are to be awarded without competition.

Aboriginal Relations Minister Mary Polak also announced $2.2 million in federal and provincial funding Tuesday for trades training directed to aboriginal people. The Industry Training Authority will administer the training to an estimated 350 participants in two dozen or more B.C. communities.

Another training program announced Tuesday funds three programs to train 36 aboriginal people for work in shellfish farming on the B.C. coast.

Just Posted

Chilliwack reaction to TMX approval coming in mixed

Feedback has been ranging from outright acceptance to outrage

Loaded firearm in a backpack nets 2.5 years jail for Chilliwack offender

Shaun Fitzgerald, aged 38, has 45 adult convictions but vows to make changes

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

RCMP believe Missing Hope teenager was headed to Chilliwack

Keely Reeze Loewen, 18, last in contact with a family member on June 13

Chilliwack residents reminded to ‘stand by your pan’ after kitchen fire Tuesday

Unattended pot on stove leads to fire and smoke damage in McIntosh apartment unit

VIDEO: Weekly roundup of what’s making the news in Chilliwack

Check out what to expect in the June 21 print edition

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

Most Read