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

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

1955 Vees reign again at Classics hockey tourney in Penticton

The 1955 World Championship Vees took home the Moog Cup at minor hockey tournament

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

World champion snowmobile racer seeks public’s help after dirt bikes were stolen in Penticton

The bikes, valued at $25,000 and $11,000, were stolen from the back of a locked truck on Sept. 12

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Athlete of the Week: William Buttar

Though he is little, William Buttar is fierce as he makes his introduction into the sporting world

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

Urban Agriculture: Food forestry rooted in thinking of the ecosystem

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read