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Management Side
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TimberWest Sells Leech Watershed to CRD
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Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 21 December 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- The Capital Regional District (CRD) and TimberWest Forest Corp. have completed a land purchase transaction that adds almost 9700 hectares of forest land to the CRD. The acquisition is intended to protect the region's drinking water supply and to add new regional park land.

"The signing of this transaction represents the successful completion of one of the largest, most important land acquisitions in recent BC history," said Nils Jensen, chair of the CRD Regional Water Supply Commission. "With the closing of this deal, we have taken action to protect the region's water supply well into the future."

The CRD will manage nearly 20,000 hectares of land dedicated to the protection of the region's water supply. The purchase also allows the CRD to avoid substantial future capital costs of more than CAD 150 million associated with the construction and operation of a new water treatment facility.

"TimberWest is delighted to be able to pass the management of the Leech River watershed into the capable and visionary stewardship of the Capital Regional District," said Paul McElligott, president and CEO, TimberWest Forest Corp.

The purchase also increases the total regional park area to nearly 11,400 hectares, and will add significantly to the Sea-to-Sea Green Blue Belt, a wilderness corridor stretching from the Sooke Basin to Saanich Inlet.

"The new park land adds considerably to our ability to protect and preserve the region's ecological capital," said Christopher Causton, chair of CRD Parks Committee.

The Leech River watershed comprises 2.5% of TimberWest's overall timber base. The transfer of the lands will not affect cut levels or employment levels.

The transaction is valued at CAD 64.7 million.

TimberWest Corporate Profile

TimberWest Forest Corp. is uniquely positioned as the largest owner of private forest lands in western Canada. The company owns in fee simple approximately 334,000 hectares or 825,000 acres of private timberland that, over the previous five years, have provided an annual average harvest of 2.594 million m(3) of logs and have an approximate annual growth rate of 8.0 m(3) per hectare per year on the productive land base. These timberlands are located on Vancouver Island and the majority of the land base supports the growth of Douglas fir, a premium tree species sought after for structural purposes. TimberWest runs fully-contracted harvesting operations. With almost 80% of the company's annual private land logging now being done in second-growth stands, TimberWest leads the Coastal industry in the growing and harvesting of second-growth timber.

The company's independent auditor, KPMG Performance Registrar Inc., periodically certifies that the forest management practices on the company's private timberland continue to meet all Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI(R)) requirements. SFI requirements specify that forest harvesting is integrated with environmental and conservation goals for soil, wildlife, water quality protection, conservation of biodiversity, protection of special sites, and aesthetics in a manner that ensures a sustainable harvest over the long-term.

TimberWest also owns renewable Crown harvest rights to 0.7 million m(3) of logs per year and operates a sawmill located near Campbell River, British Columbia.

In addition, approximately 38,000 hectares or 94,000 acres of the company's private forest lands have been identified as having greater value as real estate properties and will progressively be made available for higher uses over the next 10 to 15 years. The company reviews its land base on a periodic basis to update the size of its portfolio of higher use properties.

Stapled Units of TimberWest Forest Corp. are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: TWF.UN

Visit us at our web site: www.timberwest.com

Source: TimberWest Forest Corp.


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