Co-management is a process in which the people who live on the land and use its resources for their livelihood, share in decision making.
Members of co-management boards come from local communities where they live and work. Often they are fishermen, trappers, loggers – northern people who can represent the concerns and interests of people living in Fur Conservation Areas and wildlife habitats. Such people are sensitive to local issues and are frequently knowledgeable about special sites such as traditional areas of cultural importance, and wildlife habitats. Consequently they are able to examine and question annual forest operating plans put before them at co-management meetings. Co-management board meetings are opportunities for local people to ask forest managers about their proposed plans and operations. (The NorSask Forest Story, Fraser Hamilton Inc., Edmonton Alberta, 1996, page 139.)
Our co-management boards began with Elders’ meetings in 1992. From those meetings, co-management boards were organized to combine traditional knowledge with modern science and technology in managing the woodlands.
Today, Mistik, our forest manager, works closely with nine co-management advisory boards that provide ongoing input into operational plans. Mistik also has significant communication with a range of other stakeholder groups (outfitters, trappers, traditional use, grazing permittees, wild rice growers, cabin owners, etc.) in, and immediately surrounding, our Forest Management Area.