B.C. extends aboriginal forest rights

The B.C. government is extending its interim forest and range agreements with aboriginal people to include a new 25-year woodland licence for Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is extending its interim forest and range agreements with aboriginal people to include a new 25-year woodland licence for Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced the new licence Tuesday, one of a series of initiatives to mark National Aboriginal Day. It will provide exclusive rights to harvest Timber on designated Crown land, as well as rights to harvest, manage and charge fees for botanical forest products.

The B.C. government has signed 172 interim forest agreements with aboriginal groups since 2002, as a starting point for broader land and resource settlements that accompany treaties. More than 90 per cent of B.C. is Crown land, much of it subject to unresolved aboriginal land claims.

“This is something First Nations have been specifically asking for,” Thomson said. “We’ve been working closely with them to develop a licence that meets their specific needs and supports their participation in the forest sector.”

First Nations woodland licence holders are required to prepare management and operational plans, to comply with harvest regulations imposed on commercial forest operators. The licences are to be awarded without competition.

Aboriginal Relations Minister Mary Polak also announced $2.2 million in federal and provincial funding Tuesday for trades training directed to aboriginal people. The Industry Training Authority will administer the training to an estimated 350 participants in two dozen or more B.C. communities.

Another training program announced Tuesday funds three programs to train 36 aboriginal people for work in shellfish farming on the B.C. coast.

Just Posted

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Interior Health wants you to protect your lungs with the smoky skies

Kelowna - With wildfires comes with the risk of smoke pollution across the Interior.

Owner of fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire near Peachland

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

Smoky skies cause Okanagan-wide air quality issues

Central Okanagan pushed to high risk

Update: Wildfire crews continue to fight Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire

The wildfire across the lake from Peachland is burning at 200 hectares

Breaking: More evacuation orders for Mount Eneas wildfire, south of Peachland

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a large wildfire alongside Highway 97 in Peachland.

Campers find refuge at Penticton community centre

Campers evacuated from Okanagan Lake Provincial Park

Ontario, Saskatchewan premiers join together to oppose federal carbon plan

Saskatchewan is already involved in a court case over the tax

For-profit ridesharing legislation long overdue: BC Conservatives

Interim party leader Scott Anderson said the provincial government should step out of the way

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

UPDATED: Expect heavy delays on Highway 97

Motorists may use an alternate route via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3

Fire in backcountry near Keremeos reaches 400 hectares in size

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Cluster of fires fans smoke over West Kelowna

A cluster of three fires are burning above West Kelowna

Most Read