» Turnaround strategy bolsters native-owned company Ecotrust Canada
Ecotrust Canada successfully completed a management contract designed to improve the triple-bottom line of Iisaak Forest Resources, an FSC®-certified company.

Ecotrust Canada’s management team included Triumph Timber which worked on strengthening the 100-percent native-owned company’s operations, administration and markets. The 20-month management agreement began in November 2006 and ended on July 30, 2008.

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 Council® 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.

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.

Iisaak-Page-ThumbDownload a report on Iisaak’s turnaround strategy in 2007.