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Western Forest Products, completes new mid-island partnership

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The Tlowitsis, We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and K’ómoks First Nations (the “Nations,” all member First Nations of the Nanwakolas Council), and Western Forest Products Inc. announced the completion of the previously announced agreement for the Nations to acquire a 34 per cent interest from Western in a newly formed limited partnership for $35.9 million.
The parties also announced the new name for the partnership, which will be known as La-kwa sa muqw Forestry (pronounced la-KWAH-sa-mook) going forward. The name means ‘the wood of four’ in the Kwak’wala language.
The partnership consists of certain assets and liabilities of Western’s Mid Island Forest Operation, including the newly-established Tree Farm Licence 64, created through the subdivision of Block 2 from Tree Farm Licence 39. The operations of the new partnership cover approximately 157,000 hectares of forest land in the traditional territories of the Nations near the communities of Campbell River and Sayward on eastern Vancouver Island. The partnership will manage an allowable annual cut of 904,540 cubic metres of timber and includes a long-term fibre agreement to support Western’s British Columbia coastal manufacturing operations.
“Today we celebrate a significant and positive step toward the sustainable and effective management of our forests for the benefits of future generations,” said Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council. “Congratulations to the Nations for their leadership in making this new business venture a reality and Western for their partnership.”
“The closing of the transaction marks a key milestone in the journey towards a stronger, more inclusive forestry sector where everyone has the opportunity to benefit,” said Steven Hofer, Western’s president and CEO. “We’re looking forward to working with our partners to realize the benefits the Transaction holds for the partners, our workers and the communities where we operate.”
An event with the participating Nations, provincial and municipal government leaders, and Western representatives will be held in Campbell River on April 5, to celebrate this landmark transaction. 

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