Representatives from the environmental community, the local forest industry, First Nations and local government convened for the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel Symposium to look at the last 15 years of changes and practices in regional forestry management and what these changes mean for the future writes Julia Prinselaar in the Westerly News, Monday, March 7, 2011.

In 1995 the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel made recommendations on forest management in Clayoquot Sound. The conference looked at the challenges facing the implementation of these recommendations, as well as the role of First Nations in forestry management today.

The only forestry company currently operating within Clayoquot Sound, Iisaak Forest Resources Ltd., became wholly owned by five First Nations bands in 2005. The conference included a keynote speech from Dr. Richard Atleo, the symposium chair. He noted the social and cultural differences between First Nations and non-First Nations. He emphasized the value found in the wisdom and tradition of First Nations peoples.

“We have problems here, in Clayoquot Sound. The principle that can be captured in all of these problems is the problems of relationships,” said Atleo. The conference included a speech by current Ucluelet municipal councillor Bill Irving, former mayor, as well as a day of presentations and discussion groups in Ahousaht.

More details on the symposium and its speakers can be found in the March 10 print edition of the Westerly News.

© Westerly News 2011

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