New forestry agreements with First Nations accelerate wildfire salvage
New Wildfire Salvage Opportunity Agreements (WSOAs) will lead to faster action on harvesting areas damaged by wildfire, provide more timber for mills and set up faster reforestation through the leadership of First Nations.
“B.C. has experienced record-breaking wildfires in recent years. We are working in partnership with First Nations and the forestry industry to accelerate salvage of fire-damaged timber in these areas, supporting jobs at mills and enhanced forest regrowth,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “We have heard loud and clear from First Nations that they want more opportunities to participate in forestry. New Wildfire Salvage Opportunity Agreements are another step in our journey to advance reconciliation in the sector.”
Vern Louie, forest manager, Osoyoos Indian Band –
“We have worked hard with Vaagen Fibre Canada to identify where harvesting should take place and where the land should be left to recover on its own. When we can identify and manage an entire landscape after a wildfire for water protection, such as wildlife corridors, surviving trees and shrubs, and culturally significant areas, immediately after a wildfire has burned, then we can restore the land and emphasize our management values.”
Dan Macmaster, registered professional forester, Osoyoos Indian Band –
“WSOA will provide a more efficient opportunity for First Nations to identify, manage and recover from traditional lands that were subjected to wildfire. This landscape-level approach will give the Osoyoos Indian Band the ability to make key decisions on harvesting, protecting and restoring the diversity of areas devastated by the wildfire, as well as plan for the reforestation of important shrubs and trees on the land. Issuing a WSOA licence in a timely manner will allow the Band to harvest value from the burnt sawlogs, provide jobs in the recovery and restoration efforts, and clean up a wildfire area to make it safe for hunters, gatherers and recreators.”
Our partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) has proved to be extremely valuable. Thank you, to the OIB, for guiding the return to traditional practices of the land.