Logging and Sawmilling Journal attended the first annual B.C. First Nations Forestry Council Conference in Kelowna, B.C. in June, where discussions were focused on the growth of the First Nations presence in the forestry sector.
Everything from business development and career opportunities to forestry safety and training was presented and discussed with the B.C. First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy being the centrepiece of the conference.
The B.C. First Nations Forestry Council has been working for the past several years on engaging First Nations on what a new B.C First Nations Forest Strategy in partnership with the province may look like. With the B.C. government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and engaging with First Nations, the province has committed to developing and drafting a revised B.C First Nations Forest Strategy and Implementation Plan.
“For too long First Nations have provided recommendations to increase their participation in the forest sector and there has been little change by the province to fulfill their commitment to implement the UNDRIP—it’s time for action,” said First Nations Forestry Council CEO Charlene Higgins.
The revised Forest Strategy promotes reconciliation, implementation of the principals of UNDRIP, an increased role of First Nations of the governance and stewardship of lands and resources, and supports resources going directly to communities for governance.
The primary focus of the Forest Strategy overall is to increase the role of First Nations in the governance and stewardship of the forest, lands and resources in B.C., including meaningful sharing of forest revenues derived from their territories.
The implementation of the Forest Strategy will take time, but it is a call to action for the government to implement UNDRIP and further develop a government-to -government relationship with First Nations to increase their participation in the forestry sector, said Higgins.
The conference was met with much support and a great sense of community and is certainly giving these important issues a solid place to stand and be discussed, noted Higgins.
Watch for further updates on the initiative in Logging and Sawmilling Journal.
On the Cover:
Tom Fisher Logging conducts selective harvesting in a forest that consists of several high-value wood species, which provides him with the opportunity to tap into a variety of markets for his wood products. Fisher very ably maintains good relations with inquisitive local cottage owners about the sound of logging equipment and resource road traffic as they enjoy their lake properties. (Cover shot of a Tigercat 822C feller buncher with a 22” hotsaw head by Tony Kryzanowski)
A win-win forest management plan
The First Nations-owned Agoke Development Corporation is working on a forest management plan that could revolutionize the economic structure of forest management in northwestern Ontario—and deliver benefits to First Nations communities and the forest industry.
Managing all the moving parts
Veteran Ontario logger Tom Fisher has plenty of experience at managing the many moving parts—including keeping local cottage owners in the know—that are involved in harvesting high value hardwood forests.
Bright future for fiberboard operation
With a steady source of residual wood supply from mill operations in the region, the MDF plant in Pembroke, Ontario is looking forward to a positive future under its new ownership, Roseburg Forest Products.
Taking their logging to a whole new level
Ontario’s Henry Petkau had modest goals when he started Henry’s Trucking—but with his son, Bob, joining the operation, they have now expanded, and added new Southstar processing equipment that has taken timber production to a whole new level.
Getting higher OSB production at High Prairie
With a $50 million capital investment, forest company Tolko Industries has re-opened and boosted the production capacity at its re-commissioned High Prairie oriented strand board plant in Alberta by 40 per cent.
Sorting it all out—log-wise
The Shoal Island logging sort in B.C. truly lives up to its name, doing upwards of up to 180 log sorts, but doing it all with the environment in mind.
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from Alberta Innovates, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) and FPInnovations.
The Last Word
Tony Kryzanowski says the Forest Machinery Connectivity project is a good investment in “What If” science.