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.
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
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.
Bill Bourgeois’ opinion (Professional Reliance Review-Independent Oversight-Opinion) is the Professional Reliance Review recommendation to create an Office of Professional Regulation and Oversight is overly bureaucratic, unnecessary and does not guarantee to address the objectives of both increased accountability and transparency and improve forest management. A more responsible approach is suggested involving Government providing leadership in addressing the issue.
The independent review of the 2017 wildfires and floods falls short when it comes to recommendations to adapt to the expected more frequent events. An assessment of the recommendations is provided in BC review of Govt responses to 2017 flood and wildfire events.
The need for tenure reform was raised in several TLA Convention panel presentations. Bill Bourgeois provides his argument why tenure reform is unlikely to occur in the near future Tenure reform-Challenges
I identified to Minister Donaldson the need for a legally binding BC vision and goals Letter to Minister Donaldson re vision-goals Although he is supportive of a vision, goals and objectives Letter to Minister Donaldson re vision-goals-response he did not go far enough in supporting the legalization of the statements. As mention in a previous post SFM-what needs to be done to demonstrate status it is nice to have a vision and goals but if these are not reflected in the strategic plans of management units and other decisions, they are just “feel good” statements. Throughout the past three decades this has been the case, probably because the statements are not legally binding and thus not a Ministry or industry requirement to ensure the strategic plans (e.g., Forest Stewardship Plans-FSP) are measured against the statements. Consequently, the vision statements have seldom been used in operations or forest management planning decision-making. We need to continue to push for legalization of the statements as part of the SFM infrastructure.
One major shortcomings in the BC forest management infrastructure is the lack of a legally binding vision and associated goals as discussed in SFM-what needs to be done to demonstrate status. It is encouraging the Chief Forester provided a vision statement in BC Timber Goals Objectives 2017 as a response to the Auditor General questioning the lack of timber objectives. It is also encouraging goals and objectives beyond timber are being developed. Previous Chief Foresters have developed vision statements. However, they have never influenced the operational or strategic decision-making. This is because they are intended as guidance and not binding on decision-makers. If the Minister is serious about improving long-term forest stewardship in BC with the benefit of building resilient rural communities, the vision and goal statements have to be legally binding on decision-makers.