Michael Gravelle makes an announcement Tuesday afternoon.
NO FEE! NO FUSS!Finally... Prepaid credit cards with NO transaction fees! Find it at Xtra Cash!Click here for full list of services
The province is moving ahead with a pilot project that it hopes will modernize and revitalize the troubled forestry sector.
The first local forest management corporation was announced Tuesday afternoon. With municipal, First Nations and industry leaders, the Nawiinginokiima Corporation will oversee timber sales from the Nagagami Forest, White River Forest, Big Pic Forest, Black River Forest and the Pic River Ojibway Forest.
Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle said the crown corporation and pilot project can adjust to timber demands in a way the old system never could. For a long time, companies that weren’t using their licenses were holding onto them even though no wood was being harvested.
“We want to move to a system where that can’t happen,” Gravelle said.
Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation chief Roy Michano said the old system was hoarding. The old system also allowed for large parts of the forests around his community to be clear-cut. That won’t happen now that the corporation is in place he said.
“We had a hard time working with the big boys they didn’t want us to be involved today it is now being changed where if you don’t use it you’re going to lose it,” he said.
While job creation is a part of the corporation, Michano said he wants to see harvesting done in a much more sustainable way as well.
“Right now I believe we have to look at the concept of being more sensitive and delicate and let those clear cuts get reforested and let’s not go crazy and clear cut anymore.”
Hornepayne mayor Morley Forester said sustainable job creation is key to the corporation. But so is the fact that community leaders can now have a say in how resources around them are allocated.
“The communities now have a say and a space the table so they can direct to some degree how the fibre in the forest is used, where the profits from that go and direct that into jobs for our communities.”
Michano hopes that other resources in the future are managed the same way. He points to conflict over the Ring of Fire as something that could be addressed through a local management corporation.
“When you look at what’s going on there it’s not right,” he said.
Gravelle said he hopes to see the Nawiinginokiima Corporation underway in the spring of next year.
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.