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FORT NELSON, B.C. – Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson has invited Fort Nelson First Nation and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality to apply for a community forest agreement.

He says the invitation will allow opportunities for greater input into local forest management.

The government says Fort Nelson First Nations and the Northern Rockies Municipality have 365 days to formalize their intended partnership and submit the application for approval.

The invitation is said to be for 185,000 cubic metres of allowable annual cut over a 25-year term.

“The partnership will need to submit a management plan to the ministry’s district manager for approval prior to submitting the application for a community forest. The management plan will help the district manager determine details of the community forest, including its boundaries and allowable annual cut. The land-base selection will reflect each community’s values while targeting a timber profile of coniferous and deciduous volumes reflective of the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area.”

If they do choose to apply, the government says they will need to show community awareness and support for the community forest, including ‘building relationships and sharing information with First Nations and area communities.’

“I am pleased to invite the Fort Nelson First Nation and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality to jointly apply for a community forest agreement. I am impressed with the progress they have made in developing their partnership and believe there is a greater chance of success under the partnership than working in isolation. I expect both communities to benefit from an economic boost witnessed in other community forests.” – Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Bill Streeper, Mayor, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality says the community is grateful that the province has extended the invitation.

“We appreciate the Province extending an invitation to apply for a community forest agreement. We are also thankful to the Fort Nelson First Nation for being such willing partners and we have confidence that our partnership will result in a successful application that reinvigorates the local forest sector and employment opportunities for our community members.”

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