"This agreement recognizes the historic and present day connection the Lilwat people have to the land," said Lilwat chief Leonard Andrew in a press release.
"It recognizes Lilwat interests in the land. Concurrently this agreement will allow our community to increase its capacity in the forest sector."
Through the agreement the Lilwat will gain access to 290,500 cubic metres of timber of the Soo timber supply area and $4.5 million in revenue sharing over five years. Of the total timber volume, 18,000 cubic metres are immediately available in the Soo and the remainder, which is managed by Interfor and/or Western Forest Products, will become available once the government has finished its reallocation process.
Under the Forestry Revitalization Plan the government committed to reallocated timber lot communities, woodlot operators, and First Nations to diversify the economy. Timber companies are compensated during the reallocation process for loss of timber and any infrastructure they may have put in.
Since September 2002 the government has signed agreements with 85 First Nations providing a total of $84.6 million and 13.3 million cubic metres of timber over the term of the agreements.
"The Lilwat Nation is working to expand their economy and this announcement will be an important step in that direction," said West Vancouver Garibaldi MLA Ted Nebbeling.
In a similar reallocation, the NQuatqua First Nation of DArcy will gain access to 41,805 cubic metres of timber in the Soo timber supply area. NQuatqua will also receive nearly $700,000 in revenue sharing over five years.