New company harvests its first logs

  • Sep. 29, 2010 2:00 p.m.

The first logs cut by Taan Forest hit the beach last week. The Haida Nation-owned company is logging in Tree Farm License 60 right now, under a mutually agreeable contract with TFL owner Western Forest Products, says Taan Forest president Bob Brash.Taan is attempting to finalize the purchase of the TFL (which yields about 400,000 cubic metres annually) but Mr. Brash said there are still delays. Gary Ley, a Western Forest Products spokesperson, also said the company hopes to reach an agreement soon, but he couldn’t be more specific due to a confidentiality agreement between WFP and the Council of the Haida Nation.”There are some business issues that still need to be resolved to finalize the deal,” he said.The Haida Nation has a separate tenure of 120,000 cubic metres. Logging of this cut will get underway soon, Mr. Brash said, with tender packages going out this week. Meanwhile, the company has hired several people in recent weeks. Irene Mills is Taan Forest’s new corporate services manager and Mr. Brash said she is in the process of relocating to Haida Gwaii. One of her roles will be to seek training programs and capacity building programs to foster local employment for the short and long term. Taan is now working with three engineering firms, which are setting out cut blocks and roads for future harvesting. Two of these three firms are local, he said. Mike Richardson has been hired as the operations manager. Mr. Richardson is not from the islands, but used to work here. Brian Arnold, formally of Husby Forest Products, has been hired as a log broker. Mr. Brash said Taan is starting from scratch and has four direct employees at the moment with more to come as things gear up. The company’s office is located in Juskatla for now, but that is up for debate, he said. With the TFL and the Haida tenure, Mr. Brash said Taan is a good-size coastal operation “One of the biggest of the smallest,” he said. “We’re a sizeable entity.”