Canadian Lumber Update
larryc at teleport.com
Wed Dec 17 18:28:48 EST 1997
In article <3496f6e2.0 at 188.8.131.52>, "Todd" <tmac at brunnet.net> wrote:
> In our province, New Brunswick Crown land is managed under the Crown Lands
> and Forests Act. Timber Licenses and sub-licenses are granted to private
> corporations through which stumpage is paid to the Province.
> Up until about a month ago this was the norm, but a recent Provincial Court
> ruled the Act does not apply to Aboriginal peoples. Infact the judge has
> interpreted it to mean Aboriginals have first "dibs" on the resource. Now,
> as you can imagine, industry and government are very concerned. The province
> has indicated they will appeal, but 200 year old(+/-) treaties have been
> upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada before.
> I doubt very much the decision will be over-turned thus there is a new
> player in the forestry industry In NB. Will the laws have to change? One
> would think so!
That's a big OOPS for the big money boys, isn't it? We have some native
timber conflicts in Oregon too. In the 1960's, the federal Bureau of
Indian Affairs decided to terminate tribal status for all sorts of
natives, and close reservations. They offered to pay market value for
the land, which wasn't much, in exchange for terminating the reservation.
In typical strongarm fashion, the alternative was terminating the
reservation with no bucks attached.
Thus the feds ended up owning the Klamath Indian Reservation, which is
currently known as the Freemont National Forest. Most of the terminated
tribes have managed to recover tribal status, but so far the feds haven't
cut loose of any land. Their stance is, "Those were perfectly good beads,
and besides, a deal is a deal."
Meanwhile, the Freemont National Forest continues to produce large
quantities of timber, while costing the US taxpayer more than the
Klamath tribe ever did. Any time the Klamath tribe asks for their
land back, the Big Money Boys scream like a steam leak, and sic their
lobbyists on the issue, just because the Klamath tribe probably
wouldn't give the timber away.
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