Regular Understory readers will remember that Grassy Narrows first Nation succeeded in suspending logging within its traditional territory last year (newbies can read all about it). Since then, Grassy’s been negotiating with the Province of Ontario to develop a land use plan that earns consent of the community.
Today, the local newspaper reports that the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources provided an update on negotiations. Describing direct talks between Grassy and Weyerhaeuser, the logging company vying for access to Grassy’s forests, she says “They’re talking. It’s open. It’s honest.”
Okay, but why the update then? Did something change? My guess is that Weyerhaeuser asked the Minister to provide some reassurance to customers that negotiations haven’t totally fallen off the rails. Looking past the PR though, the fact is that Grassy continues to withhold consent for logging–here’s to hoping that all parties will be “open” and “honest” in earning it.