June 30 marked a significant achievement for the Haida-owned Taan Forest Limited Partnership as it took ownership of TFL 60 from Western Forest Products.
TFL 60 covers more than 130,000 hectares on Graham, Moresby and Louise Islands, and is the largest forest tenure on Haida Gwaii. Taan Forest Limited Partnership, HaiCo’s forestry company, also holds other forest tenure in the Haida Gwaii Timber Supply Area. The two tenures have a combined allowable annual harvest of more than 440,000 cubic metres
Under the terms of the sale, Western will receive net proceeds of approximately $12.2 million, of which $2.6 million has previously been received. Western also retains a right of first refusal on a certain quantity of cedar logs harvested by Taan over the next 24 months. Taan will assume substantially all of the obligations of Western on Haida Gwaii.
With both tenures under Haida ownership, Haida Enterprises CEO Kevin Ainsworth says the opportunities on-island are endless.
“This acquisition gives our company control of a significant Haida Gwaii tenure with some of Canada’s finest forest lands. We intend to create new employment opportunities and wealth for our Haida shareholders while operating to high environmental standards,” he said.
“Only recently we helped build a new cedar utility pole peeling operation adjacent to our dryland log sort in cooperation with the Skidegate Band Council. We now have a log supply agreement with a local sawmill that is a joint venture with the Old Masset Village Council. These new projects will lead to more on-island, value added manufacturing and jobs in an area with high unemployment.”
The money Western Forest Products received from the sale will be used to pay down the company’s debt, something CEO Dominic Gammiero says will help going forward.
“This transaction gives us the opportunity to further strengthen our balance sheet through the reduction of debt, creates additional flexibility as we pursue our strategic capital investments, all this without impacting our core harvesting operations. We have no plans to sell any additional Crown timber tenures,” he said.