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PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS

Western Forest Products (WFP) is committed to the Sustainable Forest Management System Framework requirements of, and has achieved certification to, the CSA Standard Z809-16, ISO 14001-04 on the Mid Island Forest Operation's Defined Forest Area (DFA) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Annex 4 Chain of Custody.

As part of this commitment, an appropriately designed and operated public participation process is required. “Sustainable forest management requires that decisions be made as a result of informed, inclusive and fair consultation with local people who are directly affected by or who have an interest in sustainable forest management. It is critical that public participation contributes to the identification of local values, goals, indicators and objectives that reflect the critical elements of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers criteria.”

DEVELOPMENT OF MID ISLAND FOREST AND LANDS ADVISORY GROUP (MIFLAG)

Previously referred to as North Island Woodland Advisory Group (NIWAG) 1998 & 1999.

INTRODUCTORY SESSIONS

The public involvement process commenced on September 4th, 1998 with a written, open invitation to participate in an expanded public involvement process in defining MacMillan Bloedel’s goals and objectives. These goals and objectives provided the basis for MacMillan Bloedel’s operating plans and forest management practices in the North Island region and contributed to the requirements for independent certification of MacMillan Bloedel’s forest management practices.

On September 4th, 1998 MacMillan Bloedel invited a long list of industry, government representatives and agencies, environmental organizations, contractors, employee organizations, stakeholder groups, First Nations, and school representatives to an introductory discussion of this process on September 17th and held a one-day open house on September 18th, 1998. Participants were then invited to participate, through stakeholder representatives, in an ongoing dialogue to establish the goals MacMillan Bloedel should strive for, and in defining the means for measuring progress towards these goals.

Twelve representatives of stakeholder groups became a part of the ongoing consultation process meeting first on October 26th, 1998. Details of MIFLAG activities since this time are outlined in the MIFLAG Annual Reports.

All members, representing 18 sector seats, are committed to regular participation in this ongoing process.

STAKEHOLDER MEMBERSHIP OF MID ISLAND FOREST AND LANDS ADVISORY GROUP

MIFLAG Membership List

ABORIGINAL PARTICIPATION

All First Nations with traditional territories overlapping the Defined Forest Area (DFA) were invited to attend. These include the Campbell River, Cape Mudge, Tlowitsis and K'omoks First Nations. The Campbell River and Cape Mudge bands are represented by the Hamatla Treaty Society. Participation by First Nations has been sporadic in recent years due to capacity issues.

First Nation rights will not be prejudiced by participation in the public process.

FACILITATOR/CHAIR

At the January 27, 2015 advisory group meeting, Jillene West, RPF, was introduced as the new Facilitator/Chair. Ms. West was hired to fill the position which was recently vacated by Mr. Ronald J. Frank, the advisory groups long standing Facilitator/Chair.

Ms. West is a Registered Professional Forester who was raised on the North Island. She specializes in assisting companies achieve and maintain sustainable forest management certification to several different standards, including CSA. She is an experienced Facilitator/Chair and spends a significant portion of her time engaging in consultation with the public, stakeholders and First Nations on behalf of clients. Jill is also very knowledgeable with the audit process (both internal and external third party) and often conducts internal audits for various companies.

CORPORATE TRANSITION

In late 1999 Weyerhaeuser purchased MacMillan Bloedel. With the purchase came a name change from North Island Woodlands to North Island Timberlands, however, there was a clear, written commitment by Weyerhaeuser that “the North Island Woodlands Advisory Group will receive our unqualified support. We see the work of local advisory groups as critical to our future success and sustainable management of forestlands.

May 31, 2005, Brascan purchased Weyerhaeuser. The crown land portion of Brascan's purchase became Cascadia Forest Products Ltd.

May 1, 2006, Western Forest Products Inc. purchased Cascadia. With the purchase came a name change from North Island Timberlands to Mid Island Forest Operation. It was this operation name change that prompted the advisory group name to change from North Island Woodlands Advisory Group (NIWAG) to Mid Island Forest Lands Advisory Group (MIFLAG). Western Forest Products is fully supportive of MIFLAG and the public advisory group process that is fundamental to continued CSA certification and sustainable forest management on the DFA.

INFORMED AND SHARED DECISION MAKING

After receiving free access to information to develop values, goals, indicators and objectives, MIFLAG members, in working groups and meetings make recommendations to WFP. MIFLAG meetings are agreed to in advance at previous meetings. Most of MIFLAG's goal-related work is ‘interest-based’ while those decisions, which must be made by MIFLAG, are done by consensus building techniques where consensus is deemed to be ‘no strong opposition’. Issues are addressed in terms of how they relate to the Sustainable Forest Management System and action commitments are identified in the minutes and tracked according to agreed time frames.

MIFLAG ANNUAL REPORTS

Audit results are available for the public to review at Central Island Forest Operation, Menzies Bay. Contact Kelly McMahon, Area Planner, for details.