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WESTERN FOREST PRODUCTS INC.

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Western Forest Products : Nanwakolas, Western agree to joint planning, old-growth deferral

01/19/2022 | 04:36pm EDT

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations

2022FLNRO0003-000078

and Rural Development

Jan. 19, 2022

EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝů

EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐ͕tĞƐƚĞƌŶĂŐƌĞĞƚŽũŽŝŶƚƉůĂŶŶŝŶŐ͕ŽůĚͲŐƌŽǁƚŚĚĞĨĞƌƌĂů

VICTORIA ʹA planning and reconciliation agreement between four member Nations of the EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝůĂŶĚtĞƐƚĞƌŶ&ŽƌĞƐƚWƌŽĚƵĐƚƐ/ŶĐ͘;tĞƐƚĞƌŶͿŝŶĐůƵĚĞƐĂŶĂŐƌĞĞŵĞŶƚƚŽ defer harvest of approximately 2,500 hectares of ancient, rare and other priority old growth for two years in support of Province͛s Old Growth Strategy.

͞The Tlowitsis, K͛ómoks, Wei Wai Kum and We Wai Kai First Nations are continuing to strengthen relationships with Western through a joint planning and reconciliation agreement that, along with our Large Cultural Cedar Protocol, will prioritize some of the rarest and oldest forests with this deferral,͟said Dallas Smith, EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝůƉƌĞƐŝĚĞŶƚ͘͞We have done a lot of work to put us in a position to actively engage Western and others around our important cultural and ecological values while balancing the socioeconomic needs of our communities and the surrounding region.͟

The EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐĂŐƌĞĞŵĞŶƚĐŽǀĞƌƐϭϬϬйŽĨƚŚĞĂŶĐŝĞŶƚĂŶĚƌĞŵŶĂŶƚƚƌĞĞƐŝŶϭ͕ϬϲϴŚĞĐƚĂƌĞƐ identified by the Old Growth Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) within Tree Farm Licence 39-2 on central Vancouver Island. Another 1,506 hectares of priority large, remnant and ancient forests have been deferred through other bi-lateral initiatives between EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐĂŶĚtĞƐƚĞƌŶ͕ including a Large Cultural Cedar Protocol, TFL ecosystem mapping and an addition to the H͛kusam area, originally deferred in the fall of 2020.

͞I want to recognize the member Nations of the EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝůĂŶĚtĞƐƚĞƌŶĨŽƌǁŽƌŬŝŶŐ together to defer harvest of at-riskold-growth forests,͟said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. ͞Indigenous and industry partnerships like this are key to advancing both sustainable management of our forests and reconciliation with rights and title holders.͟

As recommended by the Old Growth Strategic Review, deferrals are a temporary measure to prevent irreversible biodiversity loss while First Nations, the Province, tenure holders and other partners work to employ sustainable forest management in a manner that prioritizes ecosystem health and community resiliency throughout B.C.

This agreement is supported by previous agreements between EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝůĂŶĚ Western based upon pre-existing sustainable forest management standards that include retention of rare ecosystems. Western and EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝůŚĂǀĞĂůŽŶŐͲƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐ relationship, including working together on forest stewardship, and have agreed to complete collaborative plans that address their shared interests during the next two years.

͞This agreement recognizes and respects First Nations͛interests as rights and title holders and

includes a shared commitment to embark on new forms of collaborative planning that incorporate the values of the four member Nations,͟said Shannon Janzen, Western͛s vice- president of partnership and sustainability, and chief forester. ͞We look forward to advancing our trusting relationship with EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐĂŶĚĚĞŵŽŶƐƚƌĂƚŝŶŐŚŽǁĂƐŚĂƌĞĚĐŽŵŵŝƚŵĞŶƚƚŽ leadership in sustainable forest management can effectively balance environmental, social and economic objectives and increase certainty and stability for business, benefit workers and support Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.͟

The Province is bringing together co-ordinated and comprehensive supports for workers, communities and First Nations to offset economic impacts that may follow from new approaches to managing old-growth forests in BC. Last month, the Province announced it was making nearly $19 million in new funding available for the remainder of 2021-22 to provide enhanced supports, which are now in place.

͞Our government is working to ensure resources are in place immediately to support workers, contractors and communities who may be impacted by old-growth deferrals,͟Conroy said.

The Province is also developing additional programs that will support forestry workers and communities during the next three years, and will be announcing these soon.

Quick Facts:

  • EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝůĂŶĚtĞƐƚĞƌŶĂŶŶŽƵŶĐĞĚƚŚĞŝƌŝŶƚĞŶƚƚŽĚĞǀĞůŽƉĂ:ŽŝŶƚWůĂŶŶŝŶŐĂŶĚ
    Reconciliation Agreement on Oct. 20, 2021, with a commitment to finalize their shared approach to planning and old-forest deferral within two months.
  • B.C. has committed to implementing all 14 recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review, and developing a new old-growth strategy with First Nations as full partners.
  • The Province is working with First Nations to find agreement on deferrals of at-risk ancient, remnant and large old-growth forests identified by the Old Growth Technical Advisory Panel.
  • Deferrals can be implemented in two ways: by licensees agreeing to voluntarily pause harvest; or by a minister͛s order under Part 13 of the Forest Act, rescinding approved permits and preventing new permits from being issued.

Learn More:

EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝů͗https://nanwakolas.com/

Supports for workers and communities, including Bridging to Retirement: https://forestryworkersupport.gov.bc.ca

B.C.͛s old-growth strategy: www.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth

Western Forest Products: www.westernforest.com

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource

Dallas Smith

Operations and Rural Development

EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝů

Media Relations

250 203-0280

250 896-4320

Babita Khunkhun

Senior Director, Communications

Western Forest Products

604 220-4923

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

BACKGROUNDER

For Immediate Release

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations

2022FLNRO0003-000078

and Rural Development

Jan. 19, 2022

EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝů

Joint planning and reconciliation agreement

  • In the shared belief the parties are stronger working together and mutually beneficial outcomes will lead to greater long-term benefits for all parties and British Columbians more broadly, Western Forest Products and EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝů͕ƌĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚŝŶŐƚŚĞĨŽƵƌ
    First Nations, have agreed to work on a joint approach to managing forests, including old forests, together in TFL 39-2 on central Vancouver Island.
  • The Joint Planning and Reconciliation Agreement integrates perspectives, values, and interests of the First Nations with the intent of enhancing forest stewardship, creating socioeconomic opportunities, and providing greater operating certainty at the site level while considering recommendations of the April 2020 report, A New Future for Old Forests ;͞Old Growth Strategic Review͟Ϳ͘
  • With EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐůĞĂĚŝŶŐĂŶĚĐŽͲŽƌĚŝŶĂƚŝŶŐƚŚĞƉĂƌƚŝĐŝƉĂƚŝŽŶŽĨƚŚĞŵĞŵďĞƌEĂƚŝŽŶƐ͕ƚŚĞ parties will focus efforts to develop an Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP), including recommendations for the B.C. chief forester͛s establishment of a Forest Landscape Plan as enabled by the recent Bill 23 legislation.
  • The parties will engage mutually agreed upon and credible third-party experts to support the development of the IRMP, and work to enhance forest stewardship, including implementation of the 14 recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review in a manner that is supported by sound science and credible professional and expert opinion and engagement.
  • The harvesting deferrals agreed between Western and EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐǁŝůůŚĞůƉƉƌŽƚĞĐƚ critical old-growth forests while the joint planning work is completed.

Contacts:

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource

Dallas Smith

Operations and Rural Development

EĂ๛ŶǁĂ܂ŽůĂƐŽƵŶĐŝů

Media Relations

250 203-0280

250 896-4320

Babita Khunkhun

Senior Director, Communications

Western Forest Products

604 220-4923

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

Disclaimer

Western Forest Products Inc. published this content on 19 January 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 19 January 2022 21:35:13 UTC.


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Michael T. Waites Independent Chairman
Daniel Louis Nocente Lead Independent Director
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