Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New forest industry organization formed in the Kootenays

Kootenay TSA Coalition instigated by Premier Horgan and organized by Canfor

The provincial government has set up a new structure to help solve challenges facing the forest industry in the Kootenays.

The Kootenay TSA Coalition held its inaugural meeting in Cranbrook in November. It encompasses the Invermere, Cranbrook and Kootenay Lake timber supply areas.

The initiative is being organized by Canfor at the request of Premier John Horgan.

The initial 25-person invitee list consisted mostly of representatives of forest companies, First Nations groups and local governments.

Nelson Mayor John Dooley and Regional District of Central Kootenay Area A director Garry Jackman attended the meeting.

“The goal of the group is to develop a positive and forward-looking vision for a successful industry focused on the mid-term timber supply that will support workers, Indigenous Nations and communities for the long term,” said Canfor’s Michelle Wright in an email response to questions from the Star.

“[Premier Horgan’s] letter has asked that local forestry companies, Indigenous Nations, labour leaders and municipal government leaders collaborate in the timber supply area coalitions,” she continued.

She said the group has identified five key themes to focus on, which could expand or evolve as the group’s work progresses.

“The current themes include enhancing Indigenous participation in the forest economy, collaborative forest stewardship, thriving forests, building strong communities and creating value,” she said.

Community forests and watersheds?

Asked if the group intends to include community forests and groups concerned with water rights and other environmental and ecological issues, Wright replied “The group is in the very early planning stages of this initiative. We envision this to be a broad-based group … Once there are established roles and responsibilities, there will be a review of the makeup of the group.”

The RDCK board has appointed three of its members to attend the meetings alternatively or as they are available: Jackman, chair Aimee Watson, and Area E director Ramona Faust.

“There are a lot of unknowns at this point”

Watson said there may be opportunities to talk about not only the economy “but also the land-use issues that come up. Combine that with climate change and all the data the RDCK has been collecting on everything from flood plain management to watershed governance.

“Because forestry is facing a decline we have to be as involved as possible, so all hands on deck. I see it as being an opportunity.”

“That being said,” she continued, “who knows where this will go. I hope it results in positive outcomes. There are a lot of unknowns at this point.”

Dooley is part of a working group coming up with terms of reference for the group. He told the Star the organization is still in its early days and there is not much he can say yet about its plans.

He said he was invited to be involved partly because for several years between his terms as mayor he worked for the Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association as a liaison with municipal governments.

The coalition is not related to the formal timber supply reviews conducted province-wide by the forest ministry.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Nelson skateboarders charged with assaulting Trail police officer

Incident happened at the skate park in Trail

RDCK closes all indoor recreational facilities until at least August 18

The district said closures are necessary to meet financial plan and to deliver safe programming

Flooding: Why the RDCK ordered hundreds of properties evacuated

All evacuation orders have now been rescinded

Broadwater Road residents allowed to return home after evacuation order

Area near Castlegar evacuated due to flooding risk

Castlegar grad takes on a new form during COVID-19 pandemic

Stanley Humphries Secondary Class of 2020 will be celebrating in a unique way this year.

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Quality and safety of drinking water can be affected during and after floods

Most Read