March 2006

Coast forest industry open to collaboration

Vancouver, British Columbia— The four member companies of the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative (CFCI) joined the provincial government, the environmental community, First Nations and coastal stakeholders in welcoming the finalization of the land use plans for the Central and North Coast of BC.

"The certainty of knowing where we can operate, the certainty of knowing what areas are permanently protected, and the certainty for our customers that we will continue to produce forest products from the BC Coast free from the market campaigns of the past is important," says Western Forest Products president and chief executive officer Reynold Hert.

The agreement protects one-third of the region's land base and introduces an adaptive approach to forestry and other forms of development called ecosystem-based management (EBM).

"EBM is a new and adaptive approach to managing forests and other resources in the region," says Shannon Janzen, CFCI EBM implementation manager. "It requires more detailed planning and puts responsibility on the industry to be more innovative and flexible. We have committed to full implementation by 2009."

A key benefit that has emerged is the strengthening of relationships between industry, environmental groups, First Nations, the Province and communities.

"Implementing these agreements, and in particular EBM planning and practices, requires a high degree of collaboration," says Bill Bourgeois, CFCI project manager. "The Province and First Nations have a lead role in implementation, but all parties have heavy lifting to do in the months and years ahead if collaboration is going to work."

The CFCI companies are Canfor Corporation, Catalyst Paper Corporation, International Forest Products and Western Forest Products.

 


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