Ground-breaking Partnership Grows Island Forestry Economy for a Generation

Apr. 10/17

A ground-breaking forestry partnership between TimberWest, Nanaimo Forest Products, Western Forest Products, Coastland, and the Snuneymuxw First Nation promises to unlock the forestry potential of mid-Vancouver Island for a generation, creating jobs and growing the economy for the benefit of the entire region.


Through understandings reached the Mid-Island Forestry Initiative, with appropriate partnership from a new Provincial government, will transform the future of forestry in the area. Specifically, the Initiative has the potential to achieve the following:

  • Unlocks 3,200 ha of timber for harvest on an economically sustainable basis.
  • Creates 160 direct and indirect forestry jobs in the region
  • Provides a guaranteed flow of timber to Coastland for its mill operations for years to come that provides them business certainty
  • Provide additional land for Snuneymuxw in the Mount Benson and South Nanaimo River area
  • Resolves outstanding issues and conflicts related to log storage in the Nanaimo Estuary, including by providing access to TimberWest, providing lease and sublease opportunities, reducing overall lease areas and advancing restoration initiatives.


The Initiative provides a new blueprint for how the First Nation and Industry can collaborate to grow the economy in a respectful manner that achieves benefits for everyone. Assuming a new provincial government plays its roles, the future of the mid-Island forest industry will be secure for years to come.


For more details on the Initiative see the attached document below.


Chief John Wesley:


"Snuneymuxw has been looking for ways to grow the economy for our members and those of the region as whole based on recognition of our treaty and aboriginal rights. When we brought this innovative forestry model forward the response has been overwhelming. Our young people have increasing hope and purpose today, knowing that they will have opportunities in the forest industry that will provide them, and others, jobs for years to come. We look forward to working with our industry partners to secure the full commitment from a new provincial government to fully implement the Initiative."


Industry Quote from Bob Colclough, Manager, NRELSA

“The Nanaimo River Estuary Log Storage Association, whose members include Coastland Wood Products, Nanaimo Forest Products/Harmac, and Western Forest Products, in partnership with TimberWest, have been working hard to build a strong working relationship with the Snuneymuxw First Nation for some time. The Snuneymuxw’s Mid- Island Regional Forestry Initiative broadens that partnership to include the Province and the Nanaimo Port Authority, and integrates it into a more comprehensive approach to forestry in the region, expanding the local economy and ensuring certainty and stability for us all.”


For further information contact: Douglas White


Councillor and Chief Negotiator Snuneymuxw First Nation Mobile: 250-756-7563