July 6, 2021 – Powell River, British Columbia – Tla’amin Nation (“Tla’amin”) and Western Forest Products Inc. (“Western”) today announced the signing of the Renewal Agreement (“Agreement”) which builds upon their current 2019 Memorandum of Understanding.
The Agreement furthers existing collaboration and initiates the development of a Tla’amin-led, collaborative,Integrated Resource Management Plan (“IRMP”) for the Tla’amin Territory (“Territory”). In addition to planning for Tla’amin treaty lands and Crown tenure areas, the IRMP will include collaboration with Western on planning for the portion of TFL 39 Block 1 located in the Territory.
“Today, Tla’amin celebrates the next step in regaining control over the forests and natural resources throughout our Territory,” said Hegus John Hackett. “We have a strong and respectful working relationship with Western, and through this joint planning process we will better ensure that forestry decisions on our Territory are made by Tla'amin and reflect the best interests of both present and future generations of Tla'amin citizens."
“The Agreement is an important step in reconciliation that recognizes and respects the interests of the Tla’amin Nation,” said Shannon Janzen, Vice President Partnerships & Sustainability and Chief Forester. “At Western, we are committed to continuous improvement and have a long-term track record in sustainable forest management. We look forward to collaborating with the Tla’amin Nation through this Agreement that includes joint planning and shared learning to define a path forward together.”
The Agreement advances joint efforts that have been underway since the signing of the 2019 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Relationship, Business Relations and Economic Opportunities. Completion of the IRMP process is expected to take up to two years to develop a values and science-based plan. In the interim, Western will work with Tla’amin Leadership towards the goal of reaching consensus on identified forestry decisions. Today’s announcement introduces an improved structure for continued exploration ofinnovative ideas to advance the parties’ common interests related to their respective forestry assets and interests in the Territory.
About Tla’amin Nation
The Tla’amin Nation is a modern, forward-thinking First Nation Government at an exciting point in its history. In April 2016, the community became self-governing through the Modern Treaty Process. The community resides in the qathet North District, along Highway 101. The Tla’amin Nation has a rich heritage that stretches back since time immemorial and is guided by its ta’ow (teachings) enshrined in its Constitution and Governance Structure.
About Western Forest Products Inc.
Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.
Source: Western Forest Products