New Indigenous-led planning process launched for TFL 44 on Vancouver Island

A new approach to Indigenous-led resource planning has been launched on Vancouver Island and will be coordinated by C̕awak ʔqin Forestry Limited Partnership, formerly known as TFL 44 LP.

C̕awak ʔqin Forestry will work with the nations on whose traditional territories Forest Farm License (TFL) 44 lies to develop an Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) for forest and ecosystem management. The IRMP TFL 44 will take into account the present and future needs of nations and ecosystems while bringing together the teachings of the ancestors of the nations, the wisdom of the elders of the nations, and the contribution of the citizens and members of the nations.

The TFL 44 IRMP will use the latest data, science and technology to create a common vision and direction for intergovernmental land and resource management decisions. The plan will inform provincial legislative processes such as forest landscape plans, old-growth management, and on-the-ground operational planning to ensure sustainable socio-economic, environmental, and cultural benefits across the region.

This new Indigenous-led decision-making model will span all values, including fisheries, culture and climate change, and incorporate research and advice from leading experts in forestry, fisheries and integrated management. Resource. IRMP TFL 44 will complement, not replace, other IRMP processes underway in the region, and the development of the plan will be supported in part by the BC Resource Stewardship Task Team – a group of eminent members of the scientific, professional and academic communities of British Columbia.

“The TFL 44-wide IRMP is long overdue and is proceeding satisfactorily – with full respect for the decision-making role of nations on TFL 44,” said Robert J. Dennis Sr., Chief Advisor of Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “It is time for everyone, including Victoria pundits and old growth protesters, to show respect for the sovereignty of our nations and to respect our ability to unify and lead all members of society towards a better future. Governments find the necessary balance in final decisions, not third parties. The land is our culture, and it is our stewardship decisions that matter.

“Forestry companies have an important role to play in supporting and sustaining Indigenous government forest and resource analysis and decision-making, said Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin, Derek Peters, Director of C̕awak ʔqin Forestry . “I am very pleased to see C̕awak ʔqin Forestry playing a leadership role in showing British Columbians how important resource management planning work can be done by First Nations in a way that respects the indigenous sovereignty.

“For too long outsiders have decided what is best for our forests, fisheries, lands and waters. Those days are over,” said Chief Jeff Jones of the Pacheedaht First Nation. “We welcome the respect that C̕awak ʔqin Forestry shows our nation and look forward to guiding and participating in IRMP TFL 44 as a government.

“We are extremely pleased that the first stewards of the land have asked us to participate in this important work,” said Dr. John Innes, professor at the University of British Columbia and holder of the Forest Renewal BC Chair in Forest Management. . “Drawing on leading experts from across the province, our goal is to support Indigenous-led processes with expertise that supports integrated outcomes based on traditional knowledge and forestry, ecosystems and social sciences. . Such approaches take advantage of new technologies and methodologies to measure and manage the important values ​​inherent in British Columbia’s forests while respecting the depth of knowledge held by Indigenous land managers.

C̕awak ʔqin Forestry Limited Partnership (C̕awak ʔqin Forestry) operates TFL 44 and is a limited partnership between Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership (wholly owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations) and Western Forest Products Inc. TFL 44 covers approximately 137 000 hectares of land on west-central Vancouver Island, close to Alberni Inlet and Great Central Lake.

Louisa R. Loomis