Re: “Accord expands Great Bear protection,” column, Feb. 2.
I would like to provide clarification to the column, which lists First Nations, environmental groups and the provincial government as negotiators for the agreement. There were, in fact, four main participants dedicated to successfully negotiating the Great Bear Rainforest agreement.
Missing in the list was the forest-products industry, represented by the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative, which consists of five companies: B.C. Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper, Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Interfor and Western Forest Products. These companies have committed to collaborate with the environmental organizations — and have done so for 15 years. The companies of CFCI dedicated millions of dollars and countless hours to arrive at a consensus with the environmental groups. The result was the delivery of recommendations to the province and First Nations, and we have now an agreement.
The agreement is a success because it provides a predictable and acceptable set of conditions on which all four negotiating parties can rely for the management of this unique region. For industry, the agreement provides certainty and predictability for companies and their customers. The fact that First Nations, environmentalists and the provincial government have accompanied us on this path is cause for celebration for all.
Rick Jeffery, president and CEO
Coast Forest Products Association