First nations will be playing a much bigger role within the Prince George Timber Supply Area (TSA).
Following a recent appointment by the province, the percentage of the Annual Allowable Cut for Indigenous communities within the TSA goes from the 3.6% mark established in 2012 to a whopping 14.9%.
“Over the past six months, the ministry has engaged with forest companies, local governments, and stakeholders regarding this apportionment,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development in a news release.
“I have considered the interests expressed by those groups as well as the input of First Nations in making this apportionment decision.”
The new allotment intends to give increased access to tenure agreements for more businesses and First Nations.
“The Carrier Sekani First Nations fully support this important decision by Minister Conroy,” said Mina Holmes, Tribal Chief for the Carrier Sekani First Nations.
“We are now beginning to abide by the principles set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the B.C. Declaration Act. This presents an opportunity to strike a new path together and bring real reconciliation to our region.”
In 2017, B.C.’s chief forester reduced the annual allowable cuts for the local timber supply area by 33.2%.
That was in response to the temporary increase between 2004 and 2012, which was created to manage the impacts of the mountain pine beetle.