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Chief David Walkem Elected to SFI Board

by NationTalk on March 13, 2012376 Views

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2012

Merritt, British Columbia – David Walkem, Chief of Cooks Ferry Band and President of Stuwix Resources Joint Venture, has been elected to the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. ®(SFI®) Board of Directors.

Stuwix Resources is the only First Nations company in the British Columbia Interior to hold a replaceable forest licence, and the 112,000 hectares/277,000 acres it manages are independently certified to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard. Walkem was the first status Indian in British Columbia to become a Registered Professional Forester.“SFI certification addresses much that is important to First Nation communities – from recognizing indigenous people’s rights and traditional knowledge to environmental values such as wildlife habitat to social and economic values such as stable jobs and markets,” Walkem said today. “I welcome the chance to help shape the SFI program to make this link even stronger.”

Over two million hectares/five million acres of lands held by or managed for indigenous communities are certified to the SFI forest management standard – more than any other third-party certification standard in North America.

“The fact that indigenous land managers are choosing SFI certification shows how well it complements and supports their
commitment to conservation and sustainable forest management,” said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. David Walkem brings a fresh perspective to the board, as well as valuable professional and cultural expertise.”

The three-chamber SFI board represents environmental, economic and social interests equally, and members include representatives of environmental, professional and academic groups, independent loggers, family forest landowners, public officials, labour and the forest products sector.

Walkem joins Craig Blair, President and CEO, Resource Management Service LLC, who was also elected to the SFI board’s economic chamber. They replace Daniel S. Fulton, President and CEO, Weyerhaeuser Company, and Rick R. Holley, President and CEO, Plum Creek Timber Company Ltd.

SFI Inc. is a registered charitable organization responsible for the largest single forest certification standard in the world.
The SFI program works with a wide array of partners to improve forest management in Canada and the United States, and sourcing worldwide.

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Editors Note: Attached is background information about David Walkem and a list of SFI Inc. board members. More information about SFI Inc.’s independent governance is available at www.sfiprogram.org/sustainableforestry-initiative/sfi-governance.php.

About SFI Inc.
SFI Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program (www.sfiprogram.org). Across North America, more than 79 million hectares/195 million acres are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single forest standard in the world.

BACKGROUNDER: David Walkem

David Walkem is President of SFI-certified Stuwix Resources Joint Venture, a forest management enterprise that manages a forest licence for eight shareholder Indian Bands in the Interior of British Columbia. He has been the Chief of the Cooks Ferry Indian Band since 1990, and is the Vice-Chair of the Nicola Similkameen Innovative Forestry Society, which oversees the planning for six Innovative Forestry Practices Agreements held by major licencees in the Merritt Timber Supply Area.

In 1985, Walkem became the first status Indian in British Columbia to become a Registered Professional Forester. He was the founding President of the First Nations Forestry Council, appointed to provide policy direction for First Nations participation in forest resource management in British Columbia and to implement the First Nations response to the province’s mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Walkem has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of British Columbia. He received the Forester of the Year award from the Association of BC Professional Foresters in 2001, and an award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards Foundation in 2007 for his achievements in the environment and forestry.

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