Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
January 23, 1992
Enclosed for your information is a copy of a newspaper article on the cessation of logging in Wood Buffalo National Park -- maybe.
What's happening isn't exactly clear except that Daishowa, through an arrangement with Canfor which enabled Daishowa to effectively purchase Canfor's logging rights in the park without having to renegotiate Canfor's extremely advantageous logging lease terms, still retains the option to re-start logging operations in the park at any time.
Daishowa's stated intention to stay out of the unceded Lubicon territory this winter is similar, preserving Daishowa's option to proceed with logging operations in the unceded Lubicon territory anytime the pressure's off.
In both cases the pressure should consequently be kept up, until Daishowa renounces all intention of further logging in Wood Buffalo National Park, and until Daishowa agrees to stay out of the Lubicon territory pending a settlement of Lubicon land rights and negotiation of a harvesting agreement with the Lubicon people taking into account Lubicon wildlife and environmental concerns.
THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Thursday, January 23, 1992
NO LOGGING THIS WINTER IN WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK
Journal Staff Writer
There will be no logging in Wood Buffalo National Park this winter.
But the decision by Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), which controls the lease, and Daishowa Canada, which is entitled to the logs, does not mean that loggers won't be back in the park.
Canfor vice-president Wayne Jacques refused to explain why there will be no logging this year, except to note that negotiations are underway with the federal government to see if a buy-out of the timber lease can be arranged.
Wood Buffalo superintendent Doug Stewart confirms that company representatives have indicated that they will not exercise their lease option this year.
But he suspects the decision was made because it would not be economically viable for them to do so.
He says that Parks Canada's strict interpretation of the lease, and its attempts to improve logging standards, has left the companies' with only a small volume of timber to cut this year.
"They probably decided they would leave it for a year and either get a negotiated settlement to end the logging or a better deal for timber next year," Stewart says.
Environmentalists welcomed the news Wednesday, but said they won't be happy until loggers are out of the park for good.
"This is a national disgrace," says Harvey Locke, of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, noting that it has been more than a year since Ottawa suggested a buy-out. "Until it is purged, we will not stop hounding the federal government. This is our No. 1 priority as a national organization."
Environmental Minister Jean Charest has already indicated that buying out the lease, which doesn't expire until 2002, is also a priority for him.
In the event that the buy-out is not negotiated, there is likely to be a showdown of sorts next fall.
This winter was the last of a five-year operating plan that the company was working under in Wood Buffalo.
According to Stewart, another five-year plan will not be approved until it passes an environmental assessment review. That review will likely be conducted by Parks Canada and not the federal environmental assessment review office, he says.
"Logging is not what we'd like to see continuing in the park."