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General News · 27th September 2013
Kathy Francis
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release, Sept. 27, 2013

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

B.C. awards community forest agreement to Cortes Island

VICTORIA – The Province is enhancing economic opportunities and forest stewardship on Cortes Island by granting a local group a community forest agreement, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.
The agreement was granted to the Cortes Forestry General Partnership, made up of the Klahoose First Nation and the Cortes Community Forest Cooperative, and covers a 3,775.5-hectare area on Cortes Island. Under the agreement, the partners can harvest up to 13,600 cubic metres of timber a year.
A community forest is a forestry operation managed by a local government, community group or First Nation for the benefit of the entire community. Community forest agreements are long-term, area-based tenures designed to encourage community involvement in, and management of, local forests.

Quotes:
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson
“Community forests are one way this government is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring prosperous rural economies. Timber harvesting can provide a source of revenue to support island priorities, while harvest rates and exact locations within the agreement area can be set to meet locally determined objectives and interests.”

Klahoose First Nation Chief James Delorme
“The Klahoose Nation is pleased and excited for the approval of this landmark opportunity. The partnership with the Cortes Island community and now the approval of the forest tenure with the Province of B.C. has solidified a healthy future for our people. The example of cooperation has been stellar and should be an example to other communities on best practices with relationships with First Nations.”

Cortes Community Forest Cooperative spokesperson Bruce Ellingsen
“I am immensely pleased that Cortes islanders have received this tenure. Our Partnership now has the opportunity, and the ability, to manage it in a way that re-establishes a healthy forest ecosystem that benefits us all for many generations.”

BC Community Forests Association President Don Brown
“The continued growth of the community forest program is making a big difference in rural and
remote communities across the province. Community forests mean long-term economic
development and employment opportunities, increased self-reliance, and the kind of local-level
decision making that leads to sustainable forest management.”

Quick Facts:

- “Our Natural Advantage: A Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia,” identifies
community forests as a key element in supporting prosperous rural forest economies.
- Since 2004, Government has signed 48 community forest agreements with a total
allowable annual cut of 1.3 million cubic metres of timber a year.
- The Cortes Forestry General Partnership was established in June 2012 as a 50/50
partnership between the Klahoose First Nation and the Cortes Community Forest
Cooperative to reflect both communities’ desire to be equal partners in managing the
crown forests on the island.
- The announcement comes during National Forest Week. Held each year, the celebration
aims to encourage greater awareness and recognize the importance of Canada's forests.

Learn More:

- Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia:
http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/Forest_Strategy_WEB.PDF
- BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
- Additional information on Community Forest Agreements:
http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/timber-tenures/community/index.htm
- B.C. National Forest Week celebrations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-2rLm7I0wc

Contact:
Brennan Clarke
Ministry of Forests, Lands and
Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261

Connect with the Province of B.C. at www.gov.bc.ca/connect