TimberWest salutes the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order passing into law. This historic legal order is the result of more than 15 years of discussions between First Nations, Government, forest companies and environmental groups working together to find sustainable environmental, social and economic solutions within the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Order sets forth new forest management requirements within the 6.4 million hectare (15.8 million acre) Great Bear Rainforest — an area larger than the provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island combined.
“TimberWest is proud to be a part of this historic Agreement,” says Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “It is a wonderful example of what is possible when we work together as good neighbours and responsible stewards to resolve matters of social, environmental and economic importance for today, and for future generations.”
“I am pleased that TimberWest has been able to address the interests of First Nations, local residents and environmental groups to ensure the southern Great Bear Rainforest meets the objectives of both environmental conservation initiatives and economic development priorities for the long-term,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
The harvesting rights of TimberWest constitute less than 2% of the Great Bear Rainforest primarily consisting of second and third generation forest stands. To help preserve sensitive ecosystems, and to regenerate more contiguous forest areas, TimberWest has agreed to voluntarily convert several previously approved areas for harvesting into ecosystem reserves, thereby foregoing over $2 million of previous investment in planning and roads.
TimberWest harvests on tenure lands that include traditional territory of the Homalco First Nation. The Company has a strong working relationship with the Homalco that spans many years.
“The signing of the Great Bear Rainforest Order is important to the cultural and economic values of the Homalco First Nation,” says Chief MaryAnn Enevoldsen. “We look forward to continuing our long-term relationship with TimberWest and the other forest companies working in the Great Bear Rainforest.”
TimberWest has been operating for over 100 years on the BC Coast, and is Western Canada’s largest private timberland Company with 325,000 hectares on Vancouver Island. The Company owns renewable Crown harvest rights to 700,000 m3 per year. All its public and private forest lands are third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. TimberWest is privately owned by two leading Canadian pension funds.