The logging plans include cutblocks north and south of Nadu Road. (BC Timber Sales)

Technical team to review timber sales at Nadu and Lawn Hill

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says a pair of controversial timber sales near Nadu Road and Lawn Hill will go to a technical working group for further review.

Writing in reply to the Port Clements village council, Donaldson said the working group will include staff from the Council of the Haida Nation, the B.C. forests ministry, BC Timber Sales and the affected companies.

“I understand the importance of having a viable forest economy on Haida Gwaii and the challenge that a lack of consensus on forest activities presents to your community and economy,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson said the province is committed to working together in the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also recognizes that community economic stability and employment must be restored.

“Although compliant with the Land Use Order Objectives, the technical team will consider what opportunities exist to better meet the expectations of the Haida and community that may allow these sales to proceed unencumbered.”

RELATED: Port Clements is running out of time: mayor

Infinity West and O’Brien & Fuerst Logging successfully bid on the BCTS sales at Nadu and Lawn Hill last year, but in November the CHN told them not to log the areas. Both companies are based in Port Clements, where the village council says over two-thirds of the jobs rely on forestry.

When the BCTS sales went up for bid, a key issue was that both include easy-access, high-value cedar stands that were expected to become part of a future Haida Gwaii Community Forest. Another issue is the overharvesting of cedar on Haida Gwaii.

Leaders from every Haida Gwaii village but Port Clements joined the CHN in asking the province to withdraw the two Nadu and Lawn Hill sales and replace them with sales outside the proposed community forest area.

RELATED: Protest in the air over Nadu/Lawn Hill logging plans

In March, Port Clements council wrote the minister asking for urgent help, suggesting an immediate interim agreement between the province and CHN to avoid more lay-offs and residents leaving the village.

Apologizing for the delayed reply, Donaldson noted that the two timber-sale licences satisfy current law, the Kunst’aa guu — Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol, and the objectives of the Haida Gwaii Land-use Order.

“The reason for the non-consensus was based on cedar management related to the amount of cedar harvest annually,” Donaldson said.

“In addition, the Haida and many island residents feel the lack of resource benefit sharing is no longer acceptable.”

On that second point, Donaldson said demands for more benefit sharing cannot be satisfied until the province and islands communities reach agreement on a Haida Gwaii Community Forest.

After seeking public opinion on the province’s offer so far — one that includes 50/50 revenue sharing with BC Timber Sales on 55,000 m3 of timber a year — the Misty Isles Economic Development Society requested more time to negotiate an agreement that is more in line with islands interests.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Gwaii Haanas Report: Talking About Everything plan

By Victoria Leslie A dinner of crab legs and clam fritters, halibut… Continue reading

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

CHN seeks injunction against logging at Collison Point

Weeks after ordering an end to a blockade there, the B.C. Supreme… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Most Read