Queen Charlotte councilors were given a bit more information about the recently initialed Land Use Plan at their regular meeting on June 4.
Mayor Carol Kulesha asked resident Keith Moore, who has been contracted to facilitate a new process to determine the implications of the Land Use Plan on the islands’ Timber Supply, to speak to council.
He says the process will involve two representatives of the Council of the Haida Nation, two from the province and a Timber Supply Analyst.
Mr. Moore says the results will determine whether the province and the CHN can finally agree to sign the Land Use Plan. Neither party knows what the impacts of the plan are at this time.
The draft agreement recommends permanent protection for 225,000 ha of land for natural, cultural, spiritual and recreational values; the analysis and establishment of ecosystem based management (EBM) principles; a timber harvest of at least 800,000 m3 per year and the establishment of appropriate committees to implement and monitor the agreement.
Mr. Moore says the new protected areas will lower the amount of land available for logging, as will the new EBM principles. He said some areas that are not protected or affected by EBM may also become inoperable because they may be difficult to access due to these provisions.
He’s been given a seven-week timeframe to complete the work.
Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell told the Observer last week that he would be on islands in mid-July for a series of public presentations of the latest draft.
Mayor Carol Kulesha said the chief negotiator Lindsey Jones along with representatives of the CHN had met with council recently to discuss the process ahead for the land use plan. She said they promised to return with more information, but speculates that may not be until the end of July when Mr. Moore’s work is done.
Councillor Greg Martin asked whether the plan would have an impact on the proposed logging on the hillside behind Queen Charlotte. Mr. Moore explained that there are two ways a signed Land Use Plan could have implications for Queen Charlotte’s community watershed. First, if the blocks are in Appendix A of the document, which shows the new Protected Areas and second if the ecosystem-based management provisions have any
At the time of the meeting, he hadn’t looked at the document so didn’t know the answer to either of these questions.
The Observer could not obtain a copy of the Land Use Plan as initialled by our deadline, and Guujaaw is still unavailable for comment.
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