Community Forest Offer in the works for Misty Isles Economic Development Society

The Ministry of Forests and Range has offered the islands communities a short-term licence to cut 25,000  cubic metres of timber a  year until a longer-term Community Forest Agreement can be worked out.

The offer came from Minister Pat Bell in a letter to the Misty Isles Economic Development Society (MIEDS)earlier this month.

The government has promised MIEDS 80,000 cubic metres a year for its community forest, but is still working out the details of how exactly it will reduce and redistribute the total annual allowable cut on the islands. “To provide immediate access to interim volume, the Ministry of Forests and Range is prepared to offer Misty Isle Economic Development Society, who I understand represents the island communities, a short-term non-replaceable forestry licence to cut 25,000 cubic metres per year until the Community Forest Agreement for the full 80,000 cubic metres per year can be entered into,” Mr. Bell wrote.He also said that MIEDS would not have to partner with BC Timber Sales to sell the 25,000 cubic metres, as it will have to once the agreement is finalized for the larger volume.

Misty Isles executive director Travis Glasman said the society is working as quickly as it can to take advantage of the offer, but there are many options to be explored. The society has to consult with the Council of the Haida Nation and work out a licence agreement with the ministry. Then, he said, it needs to figure out where the volume will come from, and whether there might be some blocks available that have already been engineered. Finally, the society must decide what it will do with the timber. It could be sold to the highest bidder, he said, or the board might decide that it would be better to do something else. “Right now, we’re really in an information gathering stage,” he said. “There’s a wide range of things we could do… but I have been asked to move forward as quickly as possible.”

QCI Observer August 24, 2010 1:32 PM

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