December 6, 2017
The Council of the Haida Nation has been working to resolve issues with British Columbia Timber Sales, and the cutblocks at Nadu River and Lawn Hill. At the public meeting held November 24 in Gaaw, there was broad concern that BCTS is pursuing profit over culture and community.
The Council of the Haida Nation spoke with Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, and Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Tuesday, November 28, prior to the closing of the bidding process for the Timber Sales. Currently the Nadu River cutblocks. are “pending approval” with a potential award to Infinity West.
On the conference call, President of the Haida Nation, Peter Lantin apprised the Ministers and their staff of the issues with the Nadu River and Lawn Hill cut blocks and the necessity to resolve the situation immediately. The blocks were not approved by the CHN, and the Province’s attempt to override that decision jeopardizes standing protocols and the agreement to resolve issues before they reach this point.
Consequently, the blocks in question are now a focal point for many other outstanding issues that were not addressed by the previous Provincial government. With new Ministers in place, CHN expects to resolve the issues once the Ministers has been fully briefed by their staff.
The CHN has emphasized the seriousness of the problems with BCTS, which include:
• BCTS targeting cedar that is easily accessible to communities and without consideration to the impacts to community stability;
• the delay in awarding the community forest to Islands’ communities
• BCTS continuing to cut the forest which has been proposed as a community forest, and,
• logging along the highway corridor
The Nation is fully engaged with the Province in resolving these issues and has put forward mid- and long-term solutions. Citizens will be updated as this situation evolves.