The Forestry Department is an operational unit that functions like a business, but answers directly to the Band Administration.
Forestry activities are classified under two general categories: non-commercial forest management (also called forest stand education) and commercial forest management (harvesting).
PCT (Pre-commercial Forest Thinning), cleaning of plantations, and cleaning of natural regeneration are considered non-commercial forest management. These activities are performed by the “Production Crew” from June to October. The Production crew includes nine (9) persons. Seven of these are regular members, and all are experienced brush-cutter operators who have been working there for over ten (10) years. They are paid piece-work in accordance with the industry standards that apply to this type of work. As such, the quantity and quality of the work they do remains competitive. The forestry contracts are signed with Rexforêt, a governmental organization that manages the non-commercial forest reinvestment across the province of Quebec.
The Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band have a Forest Management Agreement (called PRAU) with the “Ministère des Forêts de la Faune et des Parc” of Quebec to harvest 15,000 cubic meters of softwoods to be sold to a local sawmill. A large portion of the harvest is performed by a multiprocessor and a forwarder, while the more inaccessible areas are harvested using a cable skidder and manual operators.
The Forestry department is also in charge of job-creating projects related to other forest resources, such as management of recreational areas, wildlife protection, river enhancement projects, procuring firewood for elders, and even handcraft workshops. However, these activities depend on government financing (ex: FAIR or PPA). Usually, twelve (12) seasonal workers are hired for these types of projects. In 2016, the PPA program was confirmed for 3 years, which should allow for employment levels to be maintained for the upcoming seasons.
Combined with the technical crew and some temporary projects, the Forestry Department employs twenty-five (25) to twenty-eight (28) individuals, mainly on a seasonal basis, for sixteen (16) weeks or more. Most of the employees are on seniority list. They receive periodical training updates to comply with the industry standards, and to respond to the safety and security rules of the forestry Units. These training updates help ensure a low number of workplace incidents or accidents within the Forestry Department.