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.
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.
Dr. Suzanne Simard in the TED talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=Un2yBgIAxYs 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.
Natural resource companies and organizations are working hard to restore the whitebark pine Species At Risk as described in Whitebark pine restoration
The BC Government has repeatedly identified that the forest sector needs to adopt innovative practices in its journey to revitalization. However, their recent change to the Manufactured Forest Products Regulation questions, Is BC Government serious about innovation
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
Currently, BC forest managers are penalized if residual biomass after forest harvesting exceeds a given threshold. As noted in the proposed CFS study https://tinyurl.com/s6wy3y7 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.
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.
HFHC recommendations and comments regarding moving toward SFM and community resiliency from 2011-2019 are included in articles presented in Revitalization of Forest Sector-recommendations-comments (1)
Moving to a new BC wood manufacturing sector will not be quick or easy! As outlined in Building a diversified mfg sector-challenges_1, there are challenges to overcome in this transition. It will be a journey, not an event requiring:
- Politicians thinking strategically beyond a one-term election period or political ideology,
- Politicians adopting a business environment that addresses the needs of investors, profitability of companies and acknowledging current and future markets,
- Companies committing support for a secondary wood manufacturing sector, and
- Communities being realistic and supporting local investments in secondary wood manufacturing.