First Nation Forest Company Receives Financing From Conservation Business Lenders
Ucluelet, British Columbia
Iisaak Forest Resources Ltd announced today that it has entered into a business relationship with Ecotrust Canada and Shorebank Enterprise Pacific, two organizations that have developed a revolving loan fund for conservation-based businesses on Vancouver Island.Iisaak's General Manager Eric Schroff says,"We're obviously pleased to have developed this financial arrangement with Ecotrust Canada and Shorebank Enterprise Pacific.They have demonstrated to us that they understand our business mission and the challenges and opportunities associated with being a leader in the emerging field of conservation-based forestry."e Bill Girard, of Ecotrust Canada's lending office in Ucluelet, says, "Iisaak is clearly a perfect candidate for the lending services that we are making available to businesses. Its eco-forestry operations are demonstrating new environmentally responsible options for B.C. forestry, while providing much needed employment to local residents, and creating new opportunities for spin off value-added forest product businesses in the Clayoquot-Alberni region.
Ian Gill, president of Ecotrust Canada, said the Iisaak/Ecotrust Canada/Shorebank Enterprise partnership is precisely the kind of innovative endeavor that is required to help communities make a transition from the industrial economy of old, to the new conservation economy. "This is a tremendously exciting deal that proves it is possible to capitalize conservation-based development. We hope this is one of many concrete ways in which we can help bring stability to communities not just in Clayoquot Sound, but throughout coastal B.C.," Gill said.
On August 22, Iisaak Forest Resources Ltd, a company 51% owned by the First Nations of Clayoquot Sound and 49% owned by Weyerhaeuser, commenced logging operations, heralding a new era in forestry for this region of Vancouver Island. Ecotrust Canada and Shorebank Enterprise Pacific opened a business lending office in May 1999 as an expression of their mission to support the emerging conservation economy of the Clayoquot-Alberni region. They have been developing and managing a $4 million revolving loan fund to which the B.C. Ministry of Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers made a $1.1 million contribution in April this year. At that time, Minister Jenny Kwan and Alberni MLA Gerard Janssen spoke of the intention of the fund to strengthen and diversify the economy of coastal and resource based communities on Vancouver Island and the need for new ideas to bolster economies and protect the environment.
Iisaak has applied for ecological forest certification under the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).Iisaak, Ecotrust Canada, and Shorebank Enterprise have also confirmed their intentions to work together with value-added manufacturers, lumber brokers, environmental organizations, and others to increase access to these emerging "green markets."