Members of the Haida Nation have carefully managed the forest resources of Haida Gwaii for thousands of years. In 2009, the Haida invested in the purchase of the largest forest tenure on Haida Gwaii and established a Nation-owned and operated logging company, Taan Forest.
With their investment in the start-up of Taan Forest, the Nation can manage logging activities using more sustainable logging practices, and generate wealth and employment opportunities for Haida members and local workers.
Through its ownership of Taan Forest, the Haida Nation can ensure its environmental mandate for Haida Gwaii is enforced through Taan’s on-the-ground operations. “In terms of forest management practices, we operate under the toughest environmental mandate on the Coast,” explains Bob Brash, CEO of the Haida Enterprise Corporation (HaiCo), the parent company of Taan.
Taan Forest has obtained Forest Stewardship Council Certification, considered the most stringent forestry management practices in the world, and Rainforest Alliance Certification. The business is further accountable to the conservation standards of the Haida Nation’s Land Use Order to ensure the protection of sensitive habitats.
Taan Forest also aims to ensure that Haida citizens and local communities on Haida Gwaii benefit from commercial activity on the island. Taan’s profits are invested back into the Islands to support other industries and works with local businesses to create spin-off opportunities, such as investing in a joint venture with the Skidegate Band Council to create a new pole-making business.
“A huge concern for Taan is how we help in the social well-being of the island. Job creation and job security are priorities, as well as creating as many local jobs as possible,” says Brash.