Forest Practices and Planning in the Sustut Valley North of Smithers, BC
This special investigation examines a series of complaints made by the An Dsap Wilp Society (the society), a group of First Nations people who use forest land 200 kilometres north of Smithers, in north-central BC. Society members live near Bear Lake at various seasons of the year. They claim traditional territories in the Sustut, Minaret, Bird Flat and Bear Lake areas where they currently hunt, fish and trap.
Two licensees, Takla Track and Timber Ltd. and Rustad Bros. & Co. Ltd. (the licensees), began timber harvesting in 1995 in the Bear Lake/Sustut area. In 1993 and 1994 they constructed local roads and an airstrip, using a BC Railway line for access to the operating area. Society members believed that their interests were adversely affected by the licensees’ forest practices. They remain concerned about the impacts of timber harvesting and road construction on forest resources in the area.