Taan Forest to hold meeting in Port

  • Oct. 10, 2012 6:00 a.m.

In response to concerns from the village of Port Clements, Taan Forest says it is hiring more local people and will be holding a public meeting in Port later this month to discuss its operational plans. The village council wrote to Taan last month with concerns about local employment levels, inconsistent availability of fibre and lack of communication. Taan general manager Mike Richardson responded in a letter read by council at its Oct. 1 meeting. Mr. Richardson said local employment is a priority for the relatively new company, which now operates Tree Farm Licence 60. This year, 73 percent of Taan’s employees are local, he said, up from 43 percent in 2011. The percentage of Haida employees has risen to 64 percent this year from 17 percent. Some Port Clements residents have been offered employment with Taan but chose not to accept, Mr. Richardson said. He admitted that fibre flow has been a challenge for Taan, as it deals with starting up, hiring employees, dealing with new legislation and the tenure transfer. “With the recent completion of the TFL acquisition, we hope to improve on these aspects and achieve a regular, steady fibre flow,” he said. Local contractors and mills can approach Taan at any time to request available fibre at market prices, he added. On the communication front, he said, Taan will be holding a public meeting in Port soon, which will provide information about the company’s operational plans. “We hope that the public meeting/open house will allow residents and local mill owners to seek answer to their questions and help alleviate all of their perceptions and concerns,” Mr. Richardson wrote. Council members voted to thank Taan for the prompt reply to their concerns.