Haida Gwaii - Strategic Land Use Agreement - Harvesting & Economic Impacts



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - The proposed Strategic Land Use Agreement
(SLUA) for Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) will have devastating impacts
on the coastal forest industry and the communities that depend on the forest
industry operating on Haida Gwaii. This determination by Teal Jones was
conducted by external and internal forestry specialists.
    Teal Jones, similar to other forest licencees operating on Haida Gwaii,
strongly supports a viable land use plan for Haida Gwaii, that recognizes the
special rights of the Haida First Nation and protects other stakeholders
including local communities and employees (on Haida Gwaii and other coastal
milling communities).
    The SLUA, signed between the Province of British Columbia and Haida First
Nation on May 28, 2007, conceptually recognizes the requirements of First
Nations and the environment. However, when technical analysis and forestry
science is applied to evaluate the impacts of the detail within the SLUA, the
adverse impacts are far-reaching. The allowable annual cut for Haida Gwaii is
expected to drop from 1.3 million cubic meters to under 500 thousand cubic
meters; in effect rendering the harvesting activities on the islands
uneconomic. This in turn will result in elimination of the economic engine
(the forest industry) for the major towns on Haida Gwaii.
    For Teal Jones, the smallest of the three major forest licencees on Haida
Gwaii, the harvest land base of its licences will be reduced by 49%.
Additional harvesting restrictions on the remaining land base will severely
handicap its economic viability. The current allowable annual cut of
116 thousand cubic meters will be reduced to approximately 43 thousand cubic
meters; in effect, eliminating the majority of economic activity at Sandspit.
Teal Jones invites interested parties and stakeholders to review the results
of its analysis by contacting the Sandspit Logging Operation.
    It is unfortunate that the process of land use planning, at a government
to government level between the Province and the Haida First Nation did not
solicit the input of the forest industry in developing the SLUA. The industry,
given its requirements for ongoing harvest planning, possesses the best
technical and forest inventory information that is necessary to evaluate the
actual impacts on harvesting and on the economy. Teal Jones and other industry
operators believe that using this information can not only achieve the goals
of the SLUA for the Haida First Nation and environmental needs, but can also
meet the economic and commercial needs of communities, employees and
businesses that depend on the forests of Haida Gwaii. The current SLUA,
however, does not achieve this.
    Teal Jones is assisting the Province with its current analysis, and
remains committed to achieving a land use solution for Haida Gwaii that meets
the needs of the First Nation and other stakeholders.

    Teal Jones is coastal British Columbia's largest private solid wood
products company and employees 1,000 people in 15 communities covering
Vancouver & vicinity, Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, Fraser Valley and the
B.C. Interior. On Haida Gwaii, Teal Jones operates, a shingle mill at Masset
with associated block harvesting operations, and a logging operation at
Sandspit covering tenures on Moresby, Graham and other islands. Teal Jones,
along with its contractors, provides direct employment for 100 people on Haida
Gwaii.





For further information:

For further information: Bryan Fraser, RPF, Sandspit Logging Operation -
Teal Jones, (250) 637-5323

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THE TEAL JONES GROUP

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TEAL JONES

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