Toquaht Nation Acquires Renewable Forest Licence from Coulson

The Toquaht Nation is thrilled to announce that, on June 17, 2016, after more than 14-months of negotiations, the Toquaht Nation acquired 100% ownership of Forest Licence A19234 from Coulson Forest Products Ltd. The assignment of several tenures on BC Provincial Crown Land is included in this exciting aquisition. These Crown tenures include the licence of occupation for the Toquaht Bay Dryland Sort, the lease for the adjoining booming grounds as well as several road permits and heli water drop sites. Toquaht has also acquired approved cutting permits and pre-paid engineering, associated with FLA19234, for approximately 50,000 cubic metres of timber that will be harvested in late 2016 and early 2017.

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This forest licence is a volume-based renewable forest licence which currently allows for an annual allowable cut (AAC) of 38,475 cubic metres from the Arrowsmith Timber Supply Area (TSA).

The Coulson family has operated this licence in the traditional territory of the Toquaht Nation since 1972; generally in the area of the Toquaht River Valley, Lucky Creek Valley, Pipestem Inlet and the Cataract Lake Area. It is important to note that Forest Licence A19234 is a “renewable” licence. This means that as long as the Toquaht Nation operates this licence in good standing with MFLNRO, Toquaht would essentially have perpetual rights to harvest timber subject to the conditions of the licence. This licence will provide training, employment, and significant land management opportunities to Toquaht for generations to come.

As required in Section 3.3 and 3.4 of the Toquaht Nation Economic Development Act, a Feasibility Study and Business Plan were completed prior to this acquisition. Currently, an Operations Plan for the years 2016-2021 is being finalized. Two additional entities have been created for these new tenures. Forest Licence A19234 has been transferred to Toquaht Forestry Limited Partnership and the tenure for the dryland sort and booming grounds have been transferred to Toquaht Industries Limited Partnership. In the future, Toquaht intends to explore the possibility of converting the forest licence from a volume based licence to a First Nation Woodland Licence (FNWL). The FNWL is an “Area Based” tenure rather than the current volume based forest licence. If British Columbia agrees to this conversion, it will provide Toquaht with increased management opportunities over a defined land base within Toquaht Traditional Territory. This will give Toquaht the secure area based tenure that will allow for increased investments in enhanced silviculture practices, generally enhanced land management, as well as the harvest and management of non-timber forest products. The increased management of the land base provided by the FNWL will allow Toquaht to adopt forest practices that will significantly increase the overall health of the land in Toquaht River, Lucky Creek and Cataract Lake areas.

Kleco kleco to all of the dedicated Toquaht staff who made this acquisition a reality!

For more information about this new venture, contact Noah Plonka (noahp@toquaht.ca), General Manager of Business Operations.