Sandspit to cooperate on community forest

  • Feb. 22, 2008 5:00 p.m.

After years of working on its own, Sandspit has decided to work cooperatively with four other islands communities in applying for a joint community forest tenure. Regional district director Travis Glasman said it makes sense to work with the other communities and it could result in a bigger cut than Sandspit could receive on its own. Sandspit has been trying for several years to secure a community forest tenure, so far with no result. The provincial government invited Masset several years ago to apply for a community forest of 25,000 cubic metres per year, but Masset never completed that process and is now working with the other communities on the joint tenure proposal. Mr. Glasman told members of the Moresby Island Management Committee Feb. 20 that representatives of the five communities – Masset, Port Clements, Queen Charlotte, Sandspit and Area D – have been working well together. They are hoping to convince the provincial government to give them a 120,000 cubic metre community forest tenure, he said. However, the decision to work with the other communities did not please committee member Duane Gould, who said Sandspit should not give up on its efforts to secure a tenure on its own. “To give it all up in the name of getting along with people, that’s crap,” Mr. Gould said. Mr. Gould said he wouldn’t want to see a situation where residents of other islands towns were working at a community forest on Moresby Island. Another committee member, Warren Foster, said he believes Sandspit needs to get along with other communities in order to succeed. He also said that there are many loggers simply flying in and out of Sandspit at the moment because there’s no certainty about how long the jobs will last. A community forest could help provide long-term and stable jobs. “We’re trying to provide some stability where people can move their families here,” he said. “Right now they’d be insane to.”