Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement

BC Timber Sales: The two partners are seeking a municipal forestry agreement that would include 200,181 acres within 100 kilometres of Fort Nelson and an eligible annual cut of 185,000 cubic metres of timber. MNR has spared no effort to advance forestry restoration in the region. One of the results of this pursuit is a significant amount of detailed research that certifies the quality, economic value and exploitation potential of the forest resource. We believe that a review of our reports and studies will arouse investor interest and give us a reason to contact us to explore specific opportunities. Under the agreement, various types of forests will be maintained and distributed, including coniferous stands, mixed timber stocks and hardwood stands. Of the CAA`s annual 217,650 cubic metres, only 118,000 cubic metres of needle stands are permitted, with the rest coming from stands of foliage. With an eligible annual cut of up to 217,650 cubic metres on approximately 200,000 hectares of specified Crown land in the Fort Nelson area, the permit granted to the partnership has both the largest harvest volume and the largest physical area of any community forest in the province. Historically, the region has experienced very active forestry with sectoral jobs, accounting for a high percentage of total regional economic activity before the global economic downturn in 2008. In the early 1970s, Sikanni Forest Products built a rough sawmill outside the city of Fort Nelson. Between the late 1970s and 1990s, Tackama Forest Products opened a sawmill and plywood plant, and Fort Nelson Forest Industries opened a sawmill. In the 1990s, Slocan Forest Products purchased Tackama Forest Products Mills and Fort Nelson Forest Industries, which eventually became the property of Canfor Corporation with the purchase of Slocan in 2003. Community forests are estimated to create full-time employment for every 3,000 cubic metres of wood harvested, with an average total turnover of $2.3 million in communities of 3,000 people or less. “It is seen as a key element in rebuilding a sustainable forest sector that brings economic, social and cultural benefits to the region.” When applying for a community forest agreement, the partners submitted a management facility for approval.

This plan includes stock-level targets of 8.9% for wild tree retention areas, ungulate winter areas and consideration of the potential impact on caribou. The old growth targets are set at at least 37% in the northern boreal mountains (6% of the contract area) and 17% in the boreal plains (94% of the agreement area). Partners in the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement include Fort Nelson First Nation and the Regional Municipality of Northern Rockies. The agreement provides for an eligible annual average of 217,650 cubic metres per year of 191,571 hectares of Crown land, including a B.C. timber sales volume reserve of 32,650 cubic metres per year for the portion of the land base in the BC Timber Sales area. As part of the application, partners demonstrated community awareness and support for the community forest, including building relationships and sharing information with First Nations and neighbouring local communities, as well as making adjustments to the application based on feedback. Fort Nelson First Nation: According to a government news release, community forests are long-term, region-based ownership relationships that aim to engage the community in the management of local forests while creating economic opportunities and local jobs. They are administered by a local government, community group or First Nation for the benefit of the community. According to the province, the award represents a resounding success and a new level of cooperation for the two local governments, both of which approved the conclusion of the municipal forest license agreement at separate meetings at the end of May. This is an important step towards a restart of forestry in the region.

The municipality remains committed to working with the province to distribute the enormous resource available in a way that provides local economic benefits. The stated objective of the NRRM Regional Council is to recruit and support investments in forestry that offer a sustainable and long-term perspective for local processing. Northern Rockies` vision is for a value-added manufacturing-based sector, with a diverse and complementary group of producers who make the best and best use of available fibre. We believe this will bring resilience and bring the greatest economic benefits to the region. FORT NELSON, B.C. – A partnership between Fort Nelson First Nation and the Regional Municipality of Northern Rockies has received the largest municipal forest permit ever issued in British Columbia. The agreement provides for the conservation and distribution of various types of forests throughout the contract area, including coniferous stands, mixed stands and deciduous stands. Of the 217,650 cubic meters annually, the bulkheads include a maximum coniferous harvest of 118,000 cubic meters, the rest would come from deciduous stands to achieve and maintain the current diversity. The Fort Nelson Wood Supply Area (TSA) is the second largest in British Columbia, covering an area of nearly 9.9 million acres in the northeast corner of the province, in the forest region of the northern interior. Tsa is entirely located in the boreal forest with mixed wood stands (coniferous wood ~ 40% and deciduous forest ~ 60%) widespread throughout the wooded profile. The TSA`s forest resource has largely avoided the problems associated with the mountain pine beetle and fires that have hurt other STAs in the province and is healthy and full of opportunities. Residents and local authorities who have long fought to revitalize Fort Nelson`s forest sector are beginning to see the benefits of their efforts with the approval of the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement in partnership with the Government of British Columbia.

Fort Nelson First Nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality submitted their application for a community forest agreement to the province on October 15. In 2021, Canfor sold its physical assets in Fort Nelson, including the PolarBoard Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and its other combined plants, to Peak Renewables in partnership with Fort Nelson First Nation. Peak is moving towards a final investment decision (FID) for the operation of a biomass wood pellet plant on the site. An announcement by the province on August 18, 2021, approving the transfer of Forest Ownership from Canfor to Peak, was an important step towards an IDF. A positive investment decision would lead to a significant recovery of forestry in the region, both alone and through the associated opportunities it would offer. A notable step in the continued rejuvenation of the local industry was the obtaining of a community forest permit held jointly by the Regional Municipality and Fort Nelson First Nation. With an AAC of approximately 215,000 m3, the Fort Nelson Community Forest is the largest in British Columbia and gives partners some influence on industry development in the region, while ensuring the ability of local operators to secure fiber. The current allowable annual reduction (AAC) was set by the Chief Forester`s decision in 2020 and the AAC increased by approximately 60%, from approximately 1.63 million m3 to approximately 2.58 million m3 per year. This occurred at a time when fiber optic supply in the province was declining and AAC was being reduced in other ASDs.

The application is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development, and a decision is expected within six to eight weeks. “The prospect of a community forest jointly managed by the FNFN and the NRRM was welcomed and endorsed by members of both communities,” the partners said in a joint press release. Email Editor Matt Preprost at Regional Municipality of Northern Rockies: The Government of B.C. today announced the approval of the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement. Meanwhile, the Fort Nelson Forest Industries site was converted to an OSB plant in 1995. From 1990 to `95, Fort Nelson also had a baguette mill operated with leaf species. As elsewhere in the province, market conditions led to the closure of the sawmill in 2005. The OSB plant in June 2008 and the plywood plant in October 2008 were closed, Fort Nelson was awarded the title of “Forest Capital of British Columbia” in 2006. .