The UBC Faculty of Forestry has produced a Teachers Guide for use in educating high school students on climate change http://calp.forestry.ubc.ca/home/teacher-resources/ Worth taking a look.
Minister Donaldson identified Government’s vision for the forest sector in the Spring 2019 issue of the Truck Logger magazine. It is “a forest sector made up of successful and innovative large and small companies that can create and maintain good jobs and generate wealth from our forests to support healthy communities.” There has not been much elaboration on the type of companies. Let’s hope this includes diversification so not all companies are producing traditional commodity or solid wood products. The indication is this could be part of the Minister’s vision. However, it is critical for him to send this message to the forest sector and Ministry staff as not much has been done in this regard over the last couple of years. Maybe the recent re-organization transferring the staff with this file to the Chief Forester’s office will produce positive results.
To provide resiliency to communities we need companies that can bridge the traditional economic cycle of solid wood products mainly destined for housing. Government needs to create an environment to encourage investment in other wood products such as bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. This will require long-term access to fibre. Hopefully the Coast and Interior Forest Sector Revitalization initiatives will include achieving this critical diversification.
Chief Forester Diane Nicholls talked about adaptation in forestry to CIF-Vancouver Section members and students on March 19th. A key point was “there is no one size fits all in managing BC forests under the expected climate, social and economic projections.” Foresters need to assess the conditions and projections on each site and landscape when making forest management decisions. This is a marked change from the traditional Government desire to have policies and regulations that trend toward standardization. A breath of fresh air. She will need support and good luck in moving this forward. Foresters and concerned citizens need to show her their support.
There are critics who maintain nothing has changed relative to forest practices since the NDP formed Government while at the same time industry and Government staff continue to mention they are overwhelmed by all the Ministry initiatives. An investigation identified Government has 10 major on-going forest related initiatives. These are identified in the attached file with associated actions taken or planned. Comments are provided regarding the process being used.
Western Forest Products and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations should be congratulated in coming to agreement on a new partnership in TFL 44 ( https://tinyurl.com/y9mtm582 ). It is not that other companies and First Nations have not developed agreements but this one has the First Nations buying interest (7%) in the TFL and having a say in how it will be managed, especially within their Territory. This partnership has the potential for working together on issues within the TFL that serve to benefit both parties.
The NS forest sector has “…been planning the change for several months” prior to the announcement of the closure of their pulp mill https://tinyurl.com/ybjxamle The plan is for actions innovative to the normal Sector way of operating. These are consistent with many proposed actions within BC. BC is being confronted with a timber supply shortage. Are there lessons to be learned from NS?
John Innes, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, UBC, says the BC forest sector “is facing a crisis” and “a clear, insightful and long-term plan needs to be developed” by the BC Government. The call to action in dealing with the crisis is not new. It was identified in the Healthy Forest-Healthy Communities dialogue of 2011-2012 (https://www.bcforestconversation.com/restoring-bcs-forest-legacy/). Government did nothing from this point until 2017. Is Government doing enough now to deal with the situation which has become more critical?
Building Community Resiliency
Two videos on use of drones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjmF4m74yss and LiDAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVctLpbM5NY of interest to teachers and students have been added to forest stewardship planning in Forest sector video-description links
The recently released Government’s Action Plan: Responding to wildfire and flood risks https://tinyurl.com/ycukqovc focuses on reducing impacts and mitigation of expected future wildfires and floods and recovery from the recent events. Although these are welcomed community assistance actions, it does not take action to strategically reduce the extent of the wildfires and floods across landscapes other than in areas immediately around communities. Bill Bourgeois comments on what is wrong with this scenario and what is needed in Wildfire adaptation-Government short sighted.
Bill Bourgeois outlines the background and action needed Integrated Forest Management Adaptation Plan.
BC IS BURNING AGAIN! It is time to act on treating BC forests so that they can adapt to the increased frequency and magnitude of wildfires caused by climate change. Numerous studies and recommendations have been provided over the last 15 years. There is general consensus among wildfire experts regarding what actions are required. Communities, First Nations and forest resource managers are calling for action. In cases where adaptation is needed regarding catastrophic events, Governments tend to not follow through on implementation. The BC Government needs to deviate from the norm and take a leadership role on this issue. It must go beyond more discussions and creation of pilots and advisory bodies. The wildfire adaptation issue can be a stimulus in moving toward community resiliency and economic development. We have the technology, we have the knowledge on how to move forward in this regard and we have the willingness of the forest affected Partners. Premier Horgan and Minister Donaldson, BC needs adequate resourcing and real, on-the-ground action! Show us the leadership.