February 2, 2010—In a decision released February 1, 2010, the BC Supreme Court accepted Tolko Industries Ltd.’s proposed archaeology plan to facilitate the harvest of eight cutblocks in the Brown’s Creek area west of Okanagan Lake. On these terms, the court ordered that the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and other parties named in the application for injunction be restrained from obstructing or otherwise interfering with Tolko’s road maintenance and usage, and timber harvesting operations in the area.
The ruling was the latest step in an application for injunction filed by Tolko last November. While archaeological assessments are part of every forest management planning process, with this plan Tolko has retained professional archaeologists to take additional steps to assess these sites.
“We are pleased with and respect the court’s decision,” says Mark Tamas, Okanagan Woodlands Regional Manager for Tolko. The company has held provincially-issued cutting permits for the eight cutblocks, which have been heavily impacted by mountain pine beetles, for over 30 months. “We will be acting on the plan quickly to take advantage of the further protection winter conditions provide and to address the heightening need for cost-effective logs to sustain Armstrong sawmill’s operation.”
“We will provide the OKIB opportunities to participate as we work through the archaeological assessment process,” says Tamas.
Tolko Industries Ltd. is a private, Canadian-owned forest products company based in Vernon, British Columbia. Tolko is a major producer and marketer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board, and kraft papers, with manufacturing operations across Western Canada. The Company’s Woodlands operations have received third-party certification of their sustainable forest management systems.
Sheri Greeno Tolko Industries Ltd. Communications Advisor