Iisaak Forest Resources Ltd, a 100% First Nations-owned forestry company in Clayoquot Sound, and Ecotrust Canada announce today that they have successfully completed a 20-month management agreement designed to improve the company’s financial, social and environmental performance. Ecotrust Canada’s management team included Triumph Timber which worked on strengthening Iisaak’s operations, administration and markets.

At a time when the coastal forest industry has faced tremendous economic pressure, Iisaak has been able to outperform most forest operators on the BC coast. It has recorded strong local employment, stable cash flow, healthy profits and high environmental performance while complying with stringent Scientific Panel recommendations and Forest Stewardship Council certification.

“With the help of Ecotrust Canada, Iisaak has been able to come closer to achieving its vision of a stable forest economy focused on benefits to First Nations,” says Gary Johnsen, Chairman of Iisaak Forest Resources. “We’re proud of the progress that the company has made.”

Some of the highlights of Iisaak’s performance under Ecotrust Canada and Triumph Timber include:

  • 47 percent of employment was First Nations
  • 67 percent of employment was local
  • Forest Stewardship certification was reinstated
  • Financial profitability and stability was achieved
  • Emerging markets were found for FSC-certified wood
  • 18 months of advance engineering is in place

“With Iisaak, we are starting to see a truly triple-bottom line company emerge in coastal forestry,” says Ian Gill, Ecotrust Canada President. “A remarkable team of people came together and worked incredibly hard every day to help make Iisaak a success.”

Iisaak is one of the first companies to prove that the coastal forestry industry can implement ecosystem-based management, provide good jobs to local people and make money at the same time. Government, industry, environmentalists and other First Nations around the province are closely watching Iisaak’s performance as a model for a new forest management approach in British Columbia.

Aerial footage of Iisaak’s harvesting in Clayoquot Sound in 2007.

Iisaak Forest Resources and Ecotrust Canada are looking forward to a continued working relationship in Clayoquot Sound. Currently in the works are projects on forest carbon, value-added business development, and governance and capacity building.

Ecotrust Canada is also partnered with the Nuu-chah-nulth Central Region Management Board (the parent organization to Iisaak) on the Clayoquot Forest Communities Program, a federally funded program focused on economic development and diversification in forest-dependent communities.

View aerial photographs of Iisaak’s cut blocks on Flickr.com by clicking here.

Dowload a report on Iisaak’s turnaround strategy in 2007 (PDF 1.8 MB) by clicking here.

For more information, contact:

Gary Johnsen, Chairman, Iisaak Forest Resources: (250) 726 2446
Brenda Kuecks, Director of Programs, Ecotrust Canada: (250) 725-2536

For photography and other public documents, contact:

Eric Enno Tamm, Communications Manager, Ecotrust Canada: (604) 219-1472 or eric@ecotrust.ca