Our goal is to advocate for policy development reform to increase the role BC First Nations play in the governance and stewardship of forest lands and resources.
The Forestry Council has worked to understand the level of participation in the forest sector that First Nations hold and have continued to advocate for improvements in provincial tenure policy that would make First Nations held tenure more viable.
In December 2007 we submitted the Tenure Viabilities Paper to the Minister after a year of Working Group discussions with the province. Tenure Viability Report (Dec 2007)
POSITION PAPER: TENURE VIABILITY
In recent years, the First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of British Columbia have worked extensively and collaboratively to address forestry‐related issues affecting First Nations in British Columbia. This includes significant effort with respect to the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic and the Forest and Range Opportunity Agreement (FRO) template agreement. The New Relationship, the First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan, and the April 2006 Commitments Document all reference the importance of resolving the outstanding matters related to the FROs.
Significant technical and political efforts have also been expended to improve the economic viability of forest tenures held by First Nations. At the technical level, a joint First Nations Forestry Council‐Ministry of Forests and Range working group (the First Nations Forest Strategy Working Group) was formed in May 2007 to develop recommendations to improve tenure viability. This Working Group has produced a draft report, but has been unable to reach consensus on joint recommendations and has indicated that political intervention is required to resolve this pressing issue.
FN Forest Tenure Benchmarking Survey 2008 (Feb 2010)
In order to generate objective information to assess the impact of future policy changes, the First Nation’s Forestry Council (FNFC) asked SR Management Services Ltd. (SRM) to benchmark tenure awarded to First Nations. The volume and the number of tenures awarded to First Nations as of November 2008 and the subject of the survey results reported here was 8.642 million m3/yr1 and 262 tenures (Appendix 3 Chart A1 and Table A1). The volume awarded was approximately 10% of the provincial annual allowable cut (AAC) of approximately 86 million m3/yr with 57 million m3 harvested (e.g. 66% of AAC). Of the 8.642 million m3/yr awarded volume to First Nations, 74% was held by survey respondents. 100% of First Nation tenure holders were contacted while conducting this survey.