Pacheedaht First Nation is the 14th First Nation to sign a new type of agreement that sees a percentage of forestry revenue returned directly to the community, announced Forests, Mines and Lands Minister Pat Bell today.
Bell visited the Pacheedaht community near Port Renfrew to celebrate the signing of the three-year Forestry Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreement (FCRSA). The new agreement gives the First Nation a percentage of revenue from forestry activity in their traditional territory, which will be used to support social and community development programs. In the first year, Pacheedaht will receive approximately $104,000 under the agreement.
In addition to the FCRSA, Bell confirmed that he had approved the transfer request from Western Forest Products to Pacheedaht/Canadian Overseas of Tree Farm Licence 61 near Jordan River. Tree Farm Licence 61 covers 20,213 hectares and has an allowable annual cut of 108,500 cubic metres.
"Forestry plays a key role in building a better economic future for the
Pacheedaht community," said Bell. "With this new revenue-sharing forestry agreement and their purchase of Tree Farm Licence 61, they are in an excellent position to benefit as our forest sector is rebounding."
In addition to their new FCRSA and TFL purchase, Pacheedaht are in preliminary discussions with B.C. about a new Forest Tenure Opportunity
Agreement, which would provide for the direct award of a forest tenure, and may include the new First Nations Woodlands Licence.
"I am encouraged by the number of First Nations who have agreed to the new
Forestry Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreements," said Barry Penner, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Attorney General.
"These agreements help keep forestry revenues in the community and will provide future social and economic opportunities for First Nations across B.C."
"Community development is immensely important to the Pacheedaht First
Nation," said Chief Marvin McClurg. "This new agreement, in conjunction with our other forestry activities, will allow us to focus our energies and revenue on moving our Community Plan forward for the benefit of people today and for future generations."
The new Forestry Consultation Revenue Sharing Agreements replace the previous Forest and Range Opportunity Agreements (FRO), which based payments on a community's population rather than linking them directly to harvesting activity. Since November 2010, B.C. has replaced 14 FROs with the new agreements and is actively negotiating with more than 50 First Nations across the province. The revenue-sharing model for these new agreements is based on input from First Nations and the Working Roundtable on Forestry's recommendations.
The Pacheedaht First Nation is located near Port Renfrew on the southwest of Vancouver Island.