As we all know, the natural resources economy is what British Columbia has been built on. It was furs, fish, trees, minerals, and so forth.
On the forest side, tenuring and how tenures have been issued have been the dominant feature on the landscape, and remain so. Through the negotiations in the Great Bear, it was first nations who led the charge to say we're concerned about sustainability. We're not anti-forestry; we are anti-forestry at the level of cut that's going on, and the cut in some of the sacred areas and other places that are important to other species that rely upon the forest. As a result, there has been a very extensive land use process, working with government and industry. Industry might have been unwilling to do this in the beginning, but to be fair to them today, they're at the table and there's a proper process.
What it meant very much was that the annual allowable cut was reduced. That has an impact on jobs and productivity as we would measure it economically, but on the benefit side, I think it has helped to restore certain watersheds. It has brought back the opportunity for other activities on the landscape. It certainly has permitted first nations to exercise more of the gathering of their medicines and so on. I think we've come to a place where we're probably not perfect yet, and further planning and further dialogue need to occur on where certain areas need to be protected, where we go with sustainability of certain animal species, and that sort of thing. All of that's data driven, and our members are certainly collecting that data.
A great uncertainty is in terms of the changing climate. Greater uncertainty is where the terrestrial impacts the oceans. As the warming oceans become less productive in some areas and more productive in others, there is a linkage; they're not isolated from the forest and so on. I and our members think we should approach this in a precautionary way, and we have stewardship directors in each of the communities.
I think the protection of the environment is first. Second comes any kind of infrastructure development, and third comes economic development. Gosh, these communities are starved for jobs and need an economy, but I think they'd put the primacy of the environment first. They have their priorities correct on that front.