The British Columbia government announced August 7 a 25-year timber licence agreement with a First Nation on Vancouver Island, which allows the Wei Wai Kum First Nation to harvest almost 9,900 cubic metres of timber a year from its traditional territory around Campbell River, BC.
The deal covers a 2,400-hectare parcel of Crown land near Heydon Bay on the province’s south central mainland coast and another 1,200 hectares by Pye Lake, north of the band’s community on Vancouver Island.
BC’s Forests Minister Steve Thomson said it is the third such First Nations deal since 2011 and will help the Wei Wai Kum to take a stronger role in managing forests and lands.
BC – First Nations Timber Deal
Wei Wai Kum Chief Robert Pollard told the Campbell River Mirror the licence means the band can build on its strong economic base through better conservation of its cultural interests in the region.
The government says another First Nation on Vancouver Island, along with a band in the Cariboo, have signed similar agreements in the past.
This is the third First Nations woodland licence issued since the province began the program through legislation passed in 2011. The initial First Nations woodland licence was awarded to the Huu-ay-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island in 2012, and an agreement with the Canim Lake Indian Band in the Cariboo followed.