The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and the provincial Ministry of Forests forged a timber harvesting agreement that will last the next 25 years.

It was announced on Tuesday that the indigenous nation encompassing Prince George would get access to 25,000 cubic metres of timber per year from within their traditional territory.

The agreement is focused on two parcels of timber covering 7,197 hectares of Crown land near Tabor Mountain and Sugar Bowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park respectively.

“On behalf of the Lheidli T’enneh Band, I welcome the award of the woodland licence,” said LTFN elected chief councillor Dominic Frederick. “This new license will contribute to the Band’s overall forestry program which provides significant benefits to the Lheidli T’enneh community. We thank the government for the award of this license so that we may manage the forest lands in this license that are within our traditional territory.”

The MLA for the affected area, Shirley Bond, said this was welcome news for the sake of local employment and economic stimulation.

“This woodland license will ensure that the Lheidli T’enneh have an additional tool to help them grow the economy and increase benefits for families in their community,” Bond said.

The minister responsible, Steve Thomson, said this adds to the 103 other forest tenure agreements and 115 consultation and revenue-sharing agreements already in existence between First Nations governments and the provincial government.

“Congratulations to the Lheidli T’enneh on their First Nations woodland license,” Thomson said.

“This license improves their opportunity to manage forests and engage in resource stewardship according to traditional land use practices.”

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