Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)

Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

B.C. forestry companies have agreed to follow Indigenous protocols pertaining to large cultural cedars set by a B.C. Indigenous Council.

Several firms, including Western Forest Products Inc. and Interfor, as well as BC Timber Sales have indicated their intention to abide by traditional laws outlined in “Large Cultural Cedar (LCC)Operation Protocol,” according to a statement from the Nanwakolas Council.

The council consists of five First Nations members –Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks – with traditional territories on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland.

RELATED: Wood products pricing surge expected to persist, raising 2021 house, renovation costs

RELATED: Environmental group calls on province to preserve old-growth forests

The LCC Protocol outlines policies and procedures for those seeking to carry out forestry activities and secure permits to harvest timber in these Nations’ territories. It aims to protect culturally important large cedars – which are at risk from “large scale” logging – under traditional laws and jurisdiction.

Large, high quality red and yellow cedars – also known as ‘tree of life’– are used extensively by First Nations for cultural practices such as carving dugout canoes, totem poles and traditional buildings.

When it became difficult to find cedar trees suitable enough for our cultural needs, we decided to make some rules ourselves for the remaining trees in our territories, said Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council.

“This way we make sure we have access to these type of trees going into the future for our current and future generations,” he said.

Explaining the workings of the protocol further Smith said that based on the dimensions outlined, if any tree is determined as an LCC by the First Nation it is off-limits for logging.

“The protocol just put up a set of rules that needs to be followed when trees of certain dimensions are found and how we’re going to manage them going forward,” he said.

In a statement, Nanwakolas Council called this agreement by members of B.C.’s forestry industry a “trailblazing move towards improved relationships between Indigenous peoples and the industry.”

“Nanwakolas Council has worked with the forestry industry for many years to help them better understand how the First Nations make resource management decisions, and in turn to understand the economic and other impacts on forestry activities of complying with Nanwakolas First Nations’ laws,” they said.

Smith, also said that the commitment by these forestry companies represents “fundamental change for the better for everyone.”

“The Protocol supports culturally important activities and increased environmental integrity, but not at the cost of economic certainty. Compliance with it will make things better not only for our communities, but regionally and for the province as a whole,” said Smith.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

First Nationsforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is hoping to see more bike lines in the Cumberland area. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cycling coalition wants better bike links for Cumberland

Group says members want more connections with Comox Valley

The Courtenay Legion has identified 16 homeless veterans living in the Comox Valley. File photo
Courtenay Legion unites with Qualicum to help homeless veterans

Last year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count conducted in the Comox Valley identified… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read