Forest Resources

The Nisga’a will own the forest resources on Nisga’a Lands. The Final Agreement includes a five-year transition period which allows forest licencees to continue to harvest forest resources on Nisga’a Land and protects forest workers currently logging on Nisga’a Lands. The transition period will help ensure stability at wood processing facilities in the region.

Development of the forest resources will help reduce unemployment among Nisga’a people and generate revenue for the Nisga’a Government to provide public services, thereby reducing contributions by federal and provincial governments. The Nisga’a may develop their own regulations and standards to govern forest practices on Nisga’a Lands, but these rules must meet or exceed the requirements of provincial laws.

The Nisga’a will own all forest resources on Nisga’a Lands. The Final Agreement establishes a five-year transition period for forest resources. During this time, British Columbia and the Nisga’a Government will continue to manage the forest licences on Nisga’a Lands. Existing forest licencees will continue to harvest timber, pay stumpage to the Province and operate under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act.

During these five years, the Province will provide the Nisga’a with payments for the stumpage and licence fees generated on Nisga’a Lands. This will ensure that the Nisga’a are placed in the same financial position as if they received the full benefits of ownership from the beginning of the Agreement.

Forest Management

The Nisga’a may establish rules and standards to govern forest practices on Nisga’a Lands. All Nisga’a standards must meet or exceed provincial rules and standards for Crown lands, including those in the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act.

In the absence of Nisga’a rules and standards to govern forest practices on Nisga’a Lands, British Columbia laws will apply as if Nisga’a Lands were provincial Crown land.

British Columbia will ensure that existing licencee obligations for silviculture on Nisga’a lands will be fulfilled.

Obligation and Compensation

The Nisga’a Final Agreement will require the removal of a portion of Tree Farm Licence #1. Skeena Cellulose Inc., the present owner, will be fairly compensated for this transfer.

The Nisga’a have made a commitment to maintain wood fibre supplies to local mills and avoid disruption of existing forest operations. The Nisga’a have agreed not to establish a primary timber processing facility for 10 years after the effective date of the Final Agreement.

At the end of the five-year transition period, the Nisga’a will determine, collect and administer fees or other charges relating to forest resources on Nisga’a Lands.

For the first five years of the transition period, the annual harvest on Nisga’a Lands will be 165,000 cubic metres. The annual harvest will be 135,000 cubic metres for years six through eight and 130,000 cubic metres for year nine.

The Nisga’a will not receive a forest tenure outside Nisga’a Lands under the Final Agreement. However, if the Nisga’a acquire an existing tenure of up to 150,000 cubic metres on the open market, British Columbia will approve the acquisition, provided any concerns relating to local fibre supply, corporate concentration and jobs are addressed.

If the tenure acquired is a Tree Farm Licence, the Nisga’a will be required to include a portion of Nisga’a Lands as Schedule A (private lands) within the Tree Farm Licence.
For further information on this or other topics, contact:

Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
Communications Branch
4th Floor, 908 Pandora Avenue
Victoria BC V8W 1X4
Telephone: 1-800-880-1022