Ontario Establishes Historic Partnership for Sustainable Forest Management
First Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence Between First Nations, Industry and the Province
Ontario, in partnership with local First Nations and industry in the Lac Seul Forest and the surrounding area of Sioux Lookout, has signed an historic agreement for the first Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence. This agreement will allow for more economic opportunities for local and Indigenous communities including more involvement in managing Crown forests.
The Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence is a new model of forest tenure and is a key part of the province's commitment to support the growth of the forestry sector while maintaining a healthy and productive Crown forest. This includes:
- Helping communities gain expertise and capacity in forest management through partnership with forestry industry
- Stimulating local economic development and creating jobs
- Ensuring participants develop local solutions that address governance, local Indigenous community involvement and sustainable forest management, among other commitments.
Modernizing the management of wood supply is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Sustainable Forest Licence issued to the Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence holder (Ondaadiziwin Forest Management Inc.) is valid for up to 20 years. The corporation is co-owned by Lac Seul First Nation, Slate Falls Nation, Domtar and Weyerhaeuser.
- The majority of the Lac Seul Forest is in the traditional area of Lac Seul First Nation.
- By generating over $15.3 billion in revenues and supporting approximately 172,000 direct and indirect jobs, the forestry sector is a significant part of communities across the province.
“This historic agreement demonstrates progress towards more sustainable forest management in Ontario and is a collaborative partnership between local First Nation communities, private industry and our government. Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licences are the future of economic growth for our forestry sector.”
Nathalie Des Rosiers
“This long-term agreement will protect the jobs that we have secured and allow us the certainty that is required to have longevity in this resource business. Obishikokaang Resources Corporation will continue to have the same leading role in managing the forest. In this agreement, we made sure that our Band Members see tangible benefits and the elements that are important to the First Nations are defined and protected by signing this agreement.”
Chief Clifford Bull