While they have had a forestry license in Toba Inlet since 2009, Klahoose Forestry has been going through some significant changes.
Bruno Pereira, Senior Manager of Qathen Xwegus Management Corporation (QXMC) explained that when he arrived three years ago, operations were managed by a partner from Vancouver.
“The last few years have been transition years going from thinking of transitioning, to acting on transitioning,” he explained.
“With the help of two gentlemen, John Marlow (from Quadra Island) and Josh Hiebert (formerly from Interfor), we are now able to say that we are basically running the entire operations on our own.”
Klahoose Forestry is now the liaison between the various subcontractors, government and silviculture.
This season started about two months ago. Pereira said there currently are not many Klahoose employed as fallers and they subcontract the heli-logging.
“These are big trades that require a lot of training and experience,” he said.
One area where Klahoose members are very active is the brushing team.
“The brushing team basically clean up the roads, and the towers of the Run of the River Innergex up in Toba,” explained Pereira. “We have had this contract for many years and every brushing season, we train people. We make sure that this team is up and running. They’re special and very interesting characters. This is the masterpiece of Paul Muskee. We’re super proud. We got them a brand new pickup last year, with their own logo.”
Forestry is an important component of the Klahoose First Nation’s economy.
“We want to be successful at it, but in a sustainable way. It is of the utmost importance for us to reduce waste and to make sure that silviculture is done properly,” said Pereira.
“It’s a time of change, of transition. It’s going quite smoothly, but it doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a lot of work. There’s a lot of moving parts in such a big operation. Again, super proud of the team, super grateful for gentlemen like John Marlow and for having Josh Hiebert on board with us, allowing us to really take on and get that experience.”
“We have fallers, heli-loggers and drivers. We will have road building eventually. Why not take one of these operations, or train some employees and be able to place them in those different operations up in Toba. We are really excited for the future. So everything is looking positive, looking good.”
Top photo credit: Toba Inlet by David Stanley via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
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