Course:FRST370/2021/Comparing the regulations and management practises of community forestry tenures in BC: The Canim Lake First Nations Woodland License, the Xaxli’p Community Forest Agreement, and the South Canoe Woodlot

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This case study was done in order to compare and contrast three different forest tenure licenses in British Columbia and gain insight into the challenges facing different tenure holders. Research on the Canim Lake Band First Nation Woodland License, the Xaxli’p Community Forest Agreement, and the South Canoe Woodlot License was executed through interviews with members of the tenures as well as reviewing articles of prior research on these community forests. We found that the challenges vary from community to community based on a variety of factors and overall the application process for these forest licenses can be difficult and time-consuming. There are adverse impacts on different licensees by harmful forest license limitations and policies. Recommendations going forward are for the British Columbia Government to revise policies to reduce harsh impacts on community forests of all sizes.


Tenure, Community Forestry, Community Forest Agreement, Woodlot License, First Nations Woodland License, British Columbia, Forest Management, Xaxli'p Community Forest, South Canoe Woodlot License, Canim Lake Band First Nations Woodland License, Stakeholders, Rights.

Figure 1: Google Earth image showing the three different locations of the case study sites: South Canoe (Salmon Arm), Canim Lake (near 100 Mile), and Xaxli'p First Nation (near Lillooet).


In this case study, we will be conducting interviews and researching three different tenures in British Columbia (BC) to observe differences in management objectives, partnerships, challenges, and stakeholders. The three tenure types will be a First Nation Woodland License (Canim Lake Band), a Community Forest Agreement (Xaxli'p First Nation), and a Woodlot License (South Canoe trails).

First Nations Woodland License (FNWL): a form of long term area-based forest tenure awarded by the province of BC for a parcel of crown land, publicly owned forest land, to a First Nations community.[1] FNWL were created in 2011 in response to growing calls for the forest sector to respect the Aboriginal Title and Rights of Indigenous peoples and make First Nations “full partners in forestry."[2]

Community Forest Agreement (CFA): a form of area-based forest tenure awarded by the province of BC for a parcel of crown land, publicly owned forest land, to a community group, First Nation, or combination of local governments, or First Nations and community groups[3]. In 1998, The province of BC passed Bill 34: Forest Statutes Amendment Act which created the possibility of Community Forest Agreements and the Community Forestry Initiative (CFI)[4]. CFAs are awarded through both competitive process as well as invitation [5].

Woodlot License (WL): a form of area-based tenure awarded by the province of BC for a parcel of crown land, publicly owned forest land, or private land[6]. Woodlot refers to a plot of privately owned land with an estimated 20,000+ woodlot owners in BC with areas >20 hectares (Ha). They are a form of personal land management (small-scale), located in the wildland urban interface close to communities or areas with sensitive resource management issues.

Description of Community Forestry Case Studies

FNWL: Canim Lake Band

Canim Lake Band citizens are called Tsq’escenem'c, or “People of Broken Rock.”[7] They are an Interior Salish people part of the larger Secwepemc Nation. Canim Lake Band’s reserves are located roughly 30 kilometres to the East of the town of 100 Mile House in the Cariboo Region of Interior BC.[7]

Application process:

Canim Lake Band was awarded their FNWL (called “N1I” by BC) through their company Kenkeknem Forest Tenures Ltd. (Kenkeknem) in 2013 after extensive lobbying to the BC government.[8] Representatives from Kenkeknem describe the process of getting a forest tenure as an “unfriendly” one.[8] After years of letter writing and meeting with BC government representatives, they were awarded the area-based tenure of 21,400 Ha within the 100 Mile Timber Supply Area (TSA).[8] While the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) has fluctuated throughout the years, Canim Lake Band was allocated 20,000 cubic metres in 2013.[9]

Canim Lake Band had to sign a Forest Tenure Opportunity Agreement (FTOA) with BC to get their tenure. This agreement has wording that acknowledges that FNWLs are a form of accommodation for the Aboriginal Title and Rights infringements that Canim Lake Band has experienced as a result of the forestry within their traditional territory.[10] Another section of the FTOA implies that if a Canim Lake Band citizen ever committed “acts of intentional interference” on “provincially authorized forest activities,” Canim Lake Band must work with BC to assist in resolving those matters.[10] The compromising language within the FTOA is one reason why other First Nations in BC have decided against pursuing a FNWL. FTOA language acts as a barrier to First Nations gaining access to area-based tenures in BC.

Community management values:

All FNWL holders must create a management plan that is “consistent with the license, legislation and any higher level plans approved under FRPA [Forest and Range Practices Act]."[11] A higher level plan that Canim Lake Band must comply with is the Cariboo Chilcotin Land Use Plan (CCLUP).[12] CCLUP includes specific areas for conservation that include Old Growth Management Areas (OGMA) and Mule Deer Winter Range (MDWR).[12] There are some OGMA and MDWR within Canim Lake Band’s tenure, and this impacts the kind of community management the Nation can plan for and implement. In fact, Kenkeknem representatives have said that it is difficult to manage for community values because there are already so many provincially mandated restrictions to harvesting within the FNWL.[8]

Figure 2: Map of Canim Lake Band FNWL, from the 2014 Forest Practises Board audit of the license.[13]

Despite this, Canim Lake Band does try to manage their FNWL for values that they have outlined within their Snine Forest, Stewardship Plan (SFSP). The SFSP is a living Land Use Plan created by Canim Lake Band to steward a part of their traditional territory. This area takes in the FNWL. The land use plan asserts Canim Lake Band’s Aboriginal Title and Rights to steward their lands and waters for the citizens of their First Nation. The plan discusses forest stewardship priorities such as:[14]

  • Archaeology
  • Non-timber forest products (NTFPs)
  • Sacred, spiritual, and supernatural areas
  • Climate change, fire and Douglas-fir beetle
  • Watershed equivalent disturbed area
  • Food fisheries
  • Connectivity corridors
  • High value deciduous trees
  • Dash distance, access management, Canim trails
  • Parks and species at risk

The SFSP is a living land use plan, meaning that it will continue to be amended as Canim Lake Band priorities and the natural environment changes.[2]

Wildfire risk mitigation:

In addition to their FNWL, Canim Lake Band also holds a Woodlot license, and they are hoping to receive a Non-Replaceable Forest License to salvage log parts of the 2021 fires within their traditional territory.[8] Unfortunately, 10% of the FNWL forest burned during the 2021 fire season.[8]

According to their SFSP, “the combination of older forests, static and inflexible CCLUP landuse zones and historic fire suppression can be thought of as a fuel-bomb. The Canim Lake Community is at high risk for wildfire."[14] This type of wildfire risk requires active management. One strategy was to create a 70-meter fuel break close to the reserve boundaries to make fire fighting easier around the community.[8] Canim Lake Band has struggled with managing for wildfire risk in OGMA and MDWR areas within their license due to those area’s harvesting restrictions.[8]

CFA: Xaxli'p First Nation

The Xaxli'p First Nation (formerly known as the Fountain Band) is an Indigenous government consisting of 1 out of 11 communities that make up the St’at’imc Nation/Territory. They hold CFA K3L which is located in the Lillooet TSA. The Xaxli’p CFA is 23,265 Ha located in the main Fountain Valley and side drainages of the survival territory of the Xaxli'p peoples, who have resided there since time immemorial.[15]

Application Process:

Negotiations with the BC government for a CFA started in the 1990's.[15] Community members of the Xaxli’p First Nation formed roadblocks to logging roads in Xaxli’p survival territory in 1990/1991. In 1993, the Xaxli’p community engaged in the B.C. treaty process and exited it in 2001 for multiple reasons—one being frustration with the BC negotiation process.[15] At the time, BC viewed aboriginal forestry as an economic machine, which did not align with the main goals of the Xaxli’p community to prioritize eco-cultural restoration.[15] In 1997, the Xaxli’p community worked with ecologist Herb Hammond to initiate a land use planning process.[15] Three main leverages aided the Xaxli’p community in becoming a CFA: the supreme court’s recognition of the existence of aboriginal title and rights, the community’s ability to assert community control over their territory, and the BC government buying back land to redistribute to other forest users.[15] In 2003, negotiations sparked back up and in 2007, they received a formal invitation to apply for a CFA. In 2011, the official CFA was signed.[15]

Community Management Values:

The community management goals are to: restore degraded ecosystems, achieve ecologically and culturally sustainable land management, educate youth and others in Ntsuwa’lhkalha Tl’ákmen (our way of life), restore water quality, quantity, and flow timing, and develop a sustainable community economy based on harvesting and processing of timber and NTFPs.[16] There are also hunting grounds for mule deer, white tail deer, and potentially moose, if ecological restoration is successful.[17] The Xaxli’p Traditional Use Study (TUS) and the Xaxli’p Ecosystem-based Plan (EPB) were created and developed by the community as well as trusted advisors in order to support these goals.[15] While the past members of the community originally aimed to stop logging, their initial efforts turned into much more with the community forest license. Integrating traditional land knowledge with modern research on forest management has allowed for the XCF to work on multiple eco-cultural restoration projects like Gibbs Creek and Diablo Meadows.[17] Projects like these were made possible by traditional land use mapping.[17] In an article written by Chambers et. al, it was said that the Xaxli'p peoples were in no rush to implement technologies at the risk of unknown consequences and mistakes; they want to take their time to properly develop new technologies.[18] This was back when GIS was newer, but with the help of Martin Weinstein and the shared input of the Xaxli’p community members and elders, they have worked to compile data of traditional land use.[17] The XCF uses GIS to map out “map biographies” which represent the knowledge of Xaxli’p individuals.[17] While this information is strictly contained under supervision of Xaxli’p, the data has helped to implement their values in management plans.[17]

Wildfire Risk Mitigation:

There are a few eco-cultural restoration projects which actively manage for wildfire risk on the XCF. The Diablo Meadows Project is a thirteen Ha forested area which had a historical fire regime of frequent, low-intensity fires.[19] Due to years of fire suppression, the forested area became overstocked, so the project allowed for the area to be thinned from 650 trees per hectare (tph) to 400 tph.[19] The same was done on the Gibbs Creek project where a dense stand was thinned from 400 tph to 200 tph. These treatments could improve forest resiliency towards fire and eventually restore the stand to pre-suppression form.[20]

Figure 3: Landscape photo of the Woodlot (W1571) located in Salmon Arm, BC, managed and owned by a resident of the community. Recreational trails intersect the woodlot and are managed by the Shuswap Trail Alliance in the South Canoe Trail system.

WL: Salmon Arm South Canoe Trails

Woodlot 1571 is 660 Ha in size and is located in the South Canoe trail system in Salmon Arm, BC, managed by a resident of Salmon Arm.

Application process:

This woodlot license was awarded in 1996 through an application process with three criteria taken into account: applicant suitability, private land contribution, and management intentions.[21] Applicant suitability looks at the applicant themselves. This includes who they are, what their background is in forestry, and what their credentials are. The next criteria is the private land contribution. Points are awarded in this section due to the amount of private land (Schedule A land) that the applicant owns and wants to put into the program as well as the amount of crown land applied for (Schedule B land). The last criteria included in the application process is the management intentions of the applicant. This includes a management statement indicating what the applicant wants to do with the land- based on the applicants background. The owner of the woodlot is a registered professional forester (RPF) with a background in industry, so he wanted to harvest the wood on the land with silviculture implications in mind. Once the application form was submitted, he was entered into a ranking system of all the applicants. The woodlot license awarding has since switched to a bidding process rather than an application process.

Community management values:

The main values managed for in this woodlot license are timber, recreation, and cultural heritage sites. Other managed values include resource values mandated by FLNRORD through the Forest & Range Evaluation Process (FREP) of stand-level biodiversity, riparian, water quality, visual quality, and soils.[22] FREP has monitoring protocols in place for woodlot managers to follow and aims to assess the impacts of forest and range activities, monitor and report on the condition of resource values, and identify opportunities for continued improvement of practices, policies, and legislation. [22] Recreation is a large value managed for in this woodlot with mountain biking trails intersecting the woodlot area. Recreational users must apply to the BC Government to design, build, maintain, and deactivate recreational trails. This is outlined in the FRPA sections 56 and 57. [23]

Wildfire Risk Mitigation:

Debris piles are burned and hazard assessments completed after harvesting. These wildfire management strategies are mandated under the wildfire act for fire mitigation and fuel hazard reduction. [24] Larger logging companies will sometimes bring log chippers onto their woodlots to chip the debris from harvesting rather than burning. However, this is an expensive option as mobilization costs associated with bringing a chipper onto a woodlot and transporting chipped debris off of the woodlot is high. This would only be practical on woodlots with large amounts of debris to chip, in close proximity to cogeneration plants (heat and power plants), and with good roads to access the woodlot.

Tenure Arrangements

Table 1: Comparison of the Bundle of Rights Held by the FNWL, CFA, and WL Case Studies
Access Y Y Y
Withdrawl/Use Y Y Y
Exclusion N N N
Management Y* Y* Y
Alienation N N N
Duration 25 yrs 25 yrs* 20 yrs
Bequeathe N N Y*
Extinguishability N N N

*FNWL: Management of the FNWL is restricted, as FNWL holders must comply with provincial forest management regulations.[8]

*CFA: CFAs have rights to “harvest, manage, and collect fees for botanical non-timber forest products (NTFPs).[5] CFAs can be awarded for anywhere from 25-99 years, renewing every 10 years, and usually have an initial 5 year probationary period.[5]

*WL: Transfers of schedule A land allowed [25] as well as licenses passed on to generations within a family.[6]


Canim Lake Band’s FNWL holds only a few strands from the bundle of rights. Despite their having Aboriginal Title and Rights to their traditional territory,[14] and the new BC legislation (DRIPA) that seeks to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples[26], Canim Lake Band is severely restricted in the governance of their traditional territory’s forests. The FNWL secures Canim Lake Band with the rights to access the forest and withdraw timber and NTFP from the area. It could be argued that Canim Lake Band has rights to management of the forest, but with so many management requirements issued by the province, there is little room for creativity and unique management for community values. FNWLs can be allocated to First Nations for anywhere between 25 and 99 years, and Canim Lake was allocated a period of 25 years.[10]


The Xaxli'p First Nation holds Aboriginal Title and Rights to their traditional territory. The CFA allows for them to manage their traditional survival land and implement eco-cultural restoration projects.[17] However, the entire traditional Xaxli'p survival territory is not covered by the CFA.[15] The Xaxli'p community also has rights to control NTFPs, as given by the CFA license, which is vital to eco-cultural restoration.[5] The XCF manages for medicinal plants like snake-root, ungulate winter ranges, and foodplants like spring lily, whitebark pine, avalanche lily, and mountain blueberry.[17] Berry picking areas change from year to year depending on the quality of that year's crop.[17]


The duration of the South Canoe Woodlot is a 20 year term, replaceable every 10 years. [27] The owner and manager of the woodlot is a local citizen of Salmon Arm, BC (C. Olson). Through this type of forestry tenure, the Woodlot owner holds a variety of rights: access to the land, withdrawal/use of materials, management of the area, duration on the land, and bequeath rights. Harvesting occurs on the woodlot for timber products mostly. Access to the woodlot owner/manager is granted for this land, as is access for recreational groups in the area which frequent the trail system in the South Canoe area of Salmon Arm.

Administrative Arrangements


FNWLs were developed from a task force consisting of government, industry, and First Nations representatives in 2008 called the Working Roundtable.[2] The licenses were meant to give First Nations more flexibility in managing for their individual community values with a long-term area-based tenure.[2] While Canim Lake Band appreciates the flexibility that FNWL have for managing First Nations forest values, Kenkeknem representatives currently feel unable to manage for them due to higher level restrictions in CCLUP.[8] The FNWL is managed by an RPF employed by Canim Lake Band, in consultation with the Natural Resources Department.[8]


The management authority is the Xaxli'p community forest council made up of elders, community members, Herbert L. Hammond the RPF for the forest, and other trusted advisors/consultants.[17][15] Including elder input avoids the exclusion of key groups in management decisions.[15] In 2001, The Silva Forest Foundation (SFF) helped the XCF to create their ecosystem-based plan alongside Xaxli'p elders and experts[17]. The Reporting system is through FLNRORD and the BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA).[3]


The management authority for this land is a woodlot owner and a RPF. The reporting system for management plans and issues is through FLNRORD. There is a social license between the license holder and the Province of BC. [6]

Affected Stakeholders


  • The people of Canim Lake Band: are affected stakeholders and also rights holders. All Canim Lake Band citizens have Aboriginal Title and Rights to their entire ancestral, unceded, traditional territory.[14] They have a long, lived connection with the FNWL area and have a long term dependency on it. Despite this, they have relatively low influence in FNWL management due to BC Government policy.


  • The people of the Xaxli'p First Nation: are affected stakeholders because they live in the surrounding areas of the community forest. These affected stakeholders are also rights holders as they have Aboriginal Title and Rights to their ancestral, unceded, and traditional territory. The majority of the CFA employees (XCF) are also Xaxli'p community members.
  • The Xaxli'p Community Forest Council: mainly comprised of Xaxli'p community members and elders, and has management authority.
  • The other 10 First Nations communities in the St’at’imc Nation/Territory: affected by management decisions by the XCF which could have impacts on their lands.


  • Manager of Woodlot: reaps financial benefits from the woodlot so his livelihood would be at stake if the land was changed or altered. His objectives are to harvest timber products off of the woodlot and cooperate with recreation groups. His proximity to the land and say for management matters makes him an affected stakeholder with high importance and high influence.
  • The Indigenous groups in the surrounding area: include the Neskonlith, Little Shuswap, Adams Lake and the Splatsin (Spallumcheen) First Nations. There are archeological sites on the woodlot with spiritual and cultural significance with the land (protected areas on woodlot with no harvesting). The connection that these groups have to the land and the culture makes them affected stakeholders of high importance. They do not have much of a say regarding management actions, so they are of low influence.
  • The Shuswap Trail Alliance: is a recreational group in area (mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, snowshoeing) made up of Salmon Arm citizens that live in close proximity and recreate on the woodlot. They would be affected personally if the land was changed or destroyed so they would be classified as affected stakeholders with high importance and high influence as they are close to the land and have the authority to put plans of change into action.
  • The members of Horse Council BC: is a recreational group that uses these trails for pleasure horseback riding. The citizens of Salmon Arm are a part of this larger group who have a personal connection and appreciation for this land, making them an affected stakeholder of high importance. This group's province-wide presence makes them of high influence.

Interested Stakeholders


  • FLNRORD: is a highly influential and important stakeholder in the Canim Lake Band FNWL. They awarded Canim Lake Band the tenure, formed the CCLUP that the FNWL must comply with, and made the requirements of Canim Lake Band’s management plan for the tenure. Despite this, FLNRORD does not have long term dependency on the area within Canim Lake Band’s FNWL, or a lived connection to it.
  • The West Fraser, Canfor, and Tolko forestry companies: are important stakeholders because they buy timber from the FNWL to feed their mills. With the competition between West Fraser, Canfor, and Tolko, Canim Lake Band can decide to sell their timber to the highest bidder.[8] They do not have long term dependency on the FNWL area, or a lived connection to it.
  • Researchers: have become stakeholders in the Canim Lake Band FNWL. They do not have long term dependency on the FNWL area, or a lived connection to it and do not have much influence or importance.
  • Employees of Kenkeknem: were interviewed for the Canim Lake Band FNWL case study and are an important stakeholder. This includes Canim Lake Band citizens and non-Canim Lake Band citizens that work for Canim Lake Band. They may have a close connection with the area within the FNWL, but if they are not citizens, ultimately do not have long-term dependency to the area because they could go practice forestry elsewhere. This is not to say that they would not be emotionally and financially effected by the FNWL ceasing to exist.
  • B.C. First Nations Forestry Council: are a highly influential and important stakeholder, as they lobby the BC government to make FNWLs more advantageous for license holders. They do not have a lived connection or long term dependency to the FNWL.


  • FLNRORD: has authority on land management restrictions and development, but is not directly impacted by the XCFC decisions so they are interested stakeholders.
  • BCCFA: have the power to review applications for CFAs.
  • Researchers: like undergraduate or graduate students, and outside researchers who have worked with the XCF in the past, or plan to in the future.
  • Other CFAs in the Lillooet TSA: may be interested in working with the XCF or learning from them.
  • SFF: they worked with the Xaxli'p community to develop the ecosystem based plan for the Xaxli'p Survival Territory.
  • Private mining companies: who have interests in extracting resources from the XCF because the CFA does not have rights to non-forest resources, like the minerals, on the Xaxli'p Survival Territory.


  • FLNRORD: is involved in recreation trail management, FREP values, and reporting for the land that this license resides on. This group is an interested stakeholder as it oversees many different types of forestry tenures and would not be impacted substantially if this one were to change. FLNRORD is a group of high importance and high influence.
  • Researchers: could be UBC students (this case study) and Ministry researchers. Due to the lack of connection and livelihood dependence to the land, this group is classified as an affected stakeholder with low importance. In general, this group would be of low influence, but if research was published and changes occured to this woodlot in response to published research, this group would be of high influence.
  • Canoe Forest Products, Adams Lake Forest Products, and Tolko Industries: are forestry companies with mills that buy timber from the WL. These surrounding mills financially benefit from the success of the South Canoe Woodlot, but would not be destroyed if it were to change, making this group an interested rather than affected stakeholder. They are of high importance and low influence.
  • Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP)[28]: the woodlot manager is a RPF certified through this organization who pays dues to the association each year. The success of ABCFP relies on woodlots succeeding and people becoming/continuing as RPFs so they are a stakeholder, but an interested rather than an affected one as they have many members in their association and do not rely on just the woodlot in this case study succeeding.
  • Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Association (FBCWA): this is a non-profit society that promotes the interests of woodlot licensees, private forest landowners, and small-scale forest managers. They give a voice to licensees and provide support to up-incoming foresters in the form of scholarships. There are 17 local associations across BC[29], making them an interested stakeholder in this case study of low importance and high influence.
  • Shuswap Okanagan Woodlot Association: this chapter group is part of the larger FBCWA. They support woodlot owners in the Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm areas and are interested stakeholders as they are involved with many different woodlot owners and forests, not just the one located on the South Canoe trail system.
  • Conservative party in Salmon Arm: Mel Arnold is a Member of Parliament elect for the North Okanagan-Shuswap region. This group has interest in engaging community involvement and the timber industry's involvement in the local economy, making them a group of low importance but high influence for changes to occur.

Assessment of Relative Power

Figure 4: Power analysis of stakeholders within the FNWL, CFA, and WL case studies.*FNWL- stakeholders specific to Canim Lake Band *CFA - stakeholders specific to community forest case study in Xaxli'p First Nation *WL- stakeholders specific to the woodlot case study in Salmon Arm, BC

Comparison of Different Community Forestry Tenures in British Columbia

The BC community forestry tenures showcased in these case studies have similar regulations, as can be seen below in Table 3. They are small-scale, long-term, area-based forestry tenures and are used by communities to manage local forests.[30] FNWLs are the newest of the three community forestry tenures in BC. The licenses were meant to give First Nations more flexibility in managing for their individual community values with a long-term area-based tenure.[2] However, CFAs also provide for this, without some of the financial disadvantages of holding a FNWL. There are two main "competitive disadvantages" for FNWLs versus CFAs and WLs.[30]

The stumpage, or taxes paid to the province for timber extraction, are different for a FNWL compared to CFAs and WLs.[31] FNWL pay Appraisal Manual stumpage, while CFAs and WLs pay a discounted tabular stumpage rate.[31] Stumpage plays a vital role in the success of a license holder and Canim Lake Band's RPF has stated that:

“With a community forest license [CFA], you can log when and where you want to [within your tenure]. With a FNWL, you have to log when and where stumpage prices allow you to.”[8]

In November 2021, Interior Appraisal Manual stumpage prices for the FNWL were on average $120.70/cubic metre.[32] Meanwhile the WL pays $15.27/cubic metre, and the CFA pays $18.10/cubic metre as per the discounted tabular stumpage rates.[32] The FNWL and CFA in these case studies are both held by First Nations, but Canim Lake Band pays roughly 7 times more than Xaxli’p for harvesting. This economic disparity has led to First Nations refusing to accept a FNWL award from BC, arguably excluding themselves from a more active role in the forest sector.[30]

The provincial government issues a stumpage rebate to FNWL holders.[31] This rebate, or revenue sharing, is widely criticized and does not recover the difference in stumpage between a FNWL and a license that pays discounted tabular rates. The rebate that they're owed is received a full year past their payment of stumpage, which is challenging for a small-scale forestry operation that is reliant on consistent cash flow.[8] It also only covers 85% of the stumpage[31] that Canim Lake Band paid for harvesting their Bill 28 Volume.[33] Canim Lake Band's Bill 28 Volume is equivalent to the First Nation’s population in 2003, multiplied by a negotiated volume (approximately 55 cubic metres/per citizen).[8] In 2005, a BC Supreme Court judged that population based forestry revenue sharing was unfavourable for First Nations in Huu-Ay-Aht et al v. Minister of Forests et al.[34] Despite this ruling, Canim Lake Band and many other First Nations in BC continue to receive stumpage rebates that are based on a per capita volume.[33]

Table 3: Comparison of replaceable direct reward forest tenures from the BC Forest Tenures Branch.[31]

Future Areas of Study and Recommendations

Each case study faces different barriers to achieving their management objectives. These barriers create excellent opportunities for future studies.

FNWL Barriers

  1. Stumpage System: FNWL are small scale licenses that pay the same stumpage as a large-scale licensee. FNWL should pay the discounted tabular rates for stumpage, just as the WLs and CFAs.[8]
  2. Revenue Sharing Timeframe: The revenue sharing from the Appraisal Manual stumpage does not make this license equitable to a CFA or WL that pays tabular stumpage, and should be faster for FNWL holders.[8]
  3. Cumulative Policy Burden: Canim Lake Band's FNWL area is constrained by multiple BC government management regulations. The pre-existing harvesting constraints requires Canim Lake Band to choose between managing for their own ecological, social, or cultural values, or making a profit. First Nations should not be constrained by BC management objectives that do not fit their forest priorities.[8]

CFA Barriers

  1. The entire Xaxli'p Traditional Survival Area is not fully encompassed by the CFA, which limits the scale of eco-cultural restoration. Land restitution would be a step in the right direction.
  2. No rights to non-forest products: The Xaxli'p CFA does not include rights to non-forest products like minerals, so there can be future contention with private mining companies who wish to extract mineral resources from the CFA.[15]
  3. AAC expectations from FLNRORD: While the Xaxli'p peoples have been hitting minimum harvest targets, timber harvest is not the top management value.[15] CFAs should be reframed for more use than mainly resource extraction.

WL Barriers

  1. Old Growth Deferral area: most woodlot licences are area-based tenures so licensees are stuck with the land that they have, even if old growth is present on the tenure area. This means that the area of tenure decreases.
  2. Cumulative Policy Burden: the Ministry of Forests (FLNRORD) adds on new policies for woodlots on top of pre-existing ones without taking away old policies in place. This results in a layering effect where more and more regulations are occurring. At some point it becomes a big problem for licensees as they are too much to keep track of.
  3. Lack of Buyers: most woodlot licence holders have little options to sell wood, making them price takers rather than price setters. This is an oligopsony that results in small forestry companies not getting the most for their wood products.



Canim Lake Band's path to an area-based forest tenure was a difficult one.[8] While the RPF for the First Nation has identified several aspects of the license that are not ideal, he believes that holding the license has been positive for Canim Lake Band.[8] The FNWL is generating revenue for the First Nation, which feeds into the community, and builds capacity and employment opportunities for Canim Lake Band. Canim Lake Band acknowledges the inequities they face compared to CFA and WL holders, and continue to push for change.[8] Other First Nations and the B.C. First Nations Forestry Council are also advocating to change FNWL structure and policy.[30] As the BC government commits further to DRIPA and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples[26], addressing the barriers that prevent First Nations from being full partners in the forest sector should be a priority.[2]


The Xaxli'p Community Forest (CFA K3L), located near Lillooet, BC, is a large, forested area (23,265 ha) on the traditional survival territory of the Xaxli’p First Nation.[15] While we were unable to reach members of the XCF for an interview, Sybil Diver’s recent research and the Xaxli’p CFA’s informative website has helped us gain an insight into this CFA. The XCF's plan for combining traditional use knowledge with modern forest practices has resulted in a brilliant ecosystem-based plan, a traditional use study, and eco-cultural restoration.[17] The CFA license has allowed the Xaxli’p to implement traditional land use knowledge and restore their traditional survival territory while also giving back to the community and educating their youth and others in Ntsuwa’lhkalha Tl’ákmen (our way of life).[17] While there are still flaws with the CFA license such as the short period of time (25 years allotted), there are many benefits which are apparent by the positive impact the license has had on this community.


The woodlot license in Salmon Arm, BC is a large woodlot (660 Ha) with a productive forest landscape and three mills to sell lumber to. When interviewing the woodlot manager, he noted that he is satisfied with his tenure agreement, the land that he owns, and the partnerships that he has in the community. It is actually quite rare that a small forestry license holder has the opportunity to sell to three different mills in the community, allowing flexibility in price taking from large forest mills. This reduces the state of oligopsony as prices can be brought to one mill and accepted or rejected based on the prices that the other mills give. This allows small operators, such as woodlot owners, a better chance to obtain the optimum value for their timber and be price setters rather than price takers. This would not be the case if only one mill was present in a community.

References Cited

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  24. Simpson, Mike (Sept. 8, 2019). "Fire Mitigation and Fuel Hazard Reduction on Woodlot Licences" (PDF). Retrieved Nov. 21, 2021. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
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