Category Archives: What’s New

Information, opinions, articles and changes to legislation and policy

Establishing a Working Forest-An alternative approach

The forest industry wants fibre security and proposes establishment of a Working Forest designation on a portion of the BC Crown land base.  This is a controversial proposal that has been rejected in the past.  However, the fibre security objective is sound.  A Working forest-alternative approach is proposed while still contributing to community resiliency and consistent with the BC forest renewal vision framework. 

BC Forest Renewal Vision Framework

Government has embarked upon the Revitalization/Renewal of the BC forest sector.  The BC forest renewal vision article provides a rationale, recommendations and implementation suggestions for a Provincial Forest Renewal Vision.  The vision will achieve the Government’s four (4) priority forest renewal goals and provide the infrastructure and necessary strategic regulation and policy actions to move to long-term forest stewardship and create a sustainable wood manufacturing sector that fully utilizes the available BC forest fibre.  Seven (7) infrastructure recommendations and twelve (12) priority strategic regulation and policy recommendations are provided.  The framework vision is intended to both update the current system and more effectively maintain and capitalize on the BC forest asset and subsequently community resiliency.

How do trees talk to one another?

Dr. Suzanne Simard in the TED talk  provides an excellent description of the research work she and her colleagues have done regarding how trees exchange nutrients and awareness of up coming disease attacks through their roots.

Scientific research is intended to inform forest management policy and practices.  Foresters are confronted with many challenges planning and implementing actions to achieve long-term forest stewardship.  The process involves balancing environmental, economic, social and cultural values.  The challenge in the case of the research provided by Dr. Simard should be how to include this knowledge as a serious part of the input into the forester’s decision-making but not necessarily the only component in the decision.

Conservation of Old Growth-opinion

Excluding any intervention in all remaining BC old growth forests OR logging all the remaining old growth are two impractical options that will not contribute to community resiliency or the well-being of British Columbians.  A responsible model is required to meet the objectives of old growth conservation in BC. Components of such a model are presented by Bill Bourgeois in Old growth conservation 

How much biomass needed for ecosystems

Currently, BC forest managers are penalized if residual biomass after forest harvesting exceeds a given threshold. As noted in the proposed CFS study emergence of a bio-products industry has the potential to totally reverse this situation and force managers to leave enough to maintain ecosystem services. This would be a major change in BC forest management and public responses.  The retention of biomass is not new.  Foresters have learned from the European experiences that, if all the biomass is removed, soil productivity can decrease significantly. Also, BC studies in the 1990s identified the need for a given level of biomass. However, the results were not applied in policy. Even though this issue is not new, the CFS should be congratulated for initiating the study within the 2020 environment. Maintaining ecosystem productivity is critical to long-term forest stewardship and subsequently a significant contribution community resiliency.

Bill 22-Forest Statutes Amendment Act-2019

Lawyer Jeff Waatainen outlines on page 25 of Bill 22 – Waatainen comments  the continued uncertainty created by Bill 22 and the associated Regulation. Not only is the “public interest” test still unclear as outlined previously in Bill 22 – comments but so is the application of the old and new definitions of  the other tests “unduly restrict competition” and “detrimental to competition.” Surely Government can clarify these tests and reduce the uncertainty they have generated within the industry, communities and investors.  This is not a trivial issue and needs immediate attention.