The Lakes Timber Supply Area (TSA) Coalition group is currently working towards finding solutions that they could offer the province in the apportionment process.
The Lakes TSA Coalition, formerly known as the Lakes TSA Stakeholder Group, was formed in 2018 to address the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) determination for the Lakes TSA,
“The Group has corresponded and met with the Government and Ministry and held public meetings to lobby for our area. The goal of the Coalition is to work together in a collaborative approach to come up with some recommendations to present to the Province. The Coalition is now working towards finding solutions that they can offer to the Province for a healthier & sustainable forest industry in our region,” said Cindy Shelford, the organizer and facilitator for the group.
In 2019, the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) of timber for the Burns Lake region was reduced by 41 per cent than the previous AAC and earlier this year, discussions on the apportionment of the AAC between timber licence holders began. The Province presented four scenarios for the TSA apportionment.
The four scenarios were proposed to pave the way for lasting and comprehensive solutions to reconcile First Nations rights, title and interests.
“Work is still underway and planning is in process,” said Shelford of the four scenarios.
The coalition, comprised of industry leaders such as the Sawmills in the region, representatives from the Indigenous communities in the region, local forestry companies such as the community forests, community leaders, United Steelworkers and local Government – Village of Burns Lake & Regional District, was invited by Premier John Horgan to bring ideas and recommendations with suggested solutions back to the Province on what they saw working best on the ground level for our communities.
“To be recognized and selected as one of the three Timber Supply Areas (TSAs) in the Province to be designated a Coalition has been hard work and is an achievement our community should be proud of,” said Shelford, adding that being designated as a Coalition would afford the group an opportunity to review & rejuvenate collaborative landscape level planning management approaches to maintain a balance of environmental, social, and cultural values while optimizing timber supply and economic benefits.
The two other coalitions are the Mackenzie TSA and the Kootenays. Horgan has even committed staff and analytical resources to the coalitions.
The Lakes TSA coalition is now working through the current initiatives, looking at practices and rules in place, assessing current needs and constraints and exploring opportunities in the TSA.
“The Province has approximately 15 different initiatives underway that have different projected outcomes & dates that go through to next year, so this is a long and important process,” said Shelford.
The coalition is presently working through their recommendations and expects to present some of the recommendations to the province by this summer.