Government and the forest industry responses to forest sector changes and economic conditions over the last 15 years have resulted in a major reduction in capacity to deliver research for long-term forest stewardship of BC forests. A robust forest research program that provides the knowledge and innovation needed to manage the current and future BC Forest Asset is essential in moving toward community resiliency.
It is unlikely the current conditions before the MFLNRORD will allow returning to the model where a Research Branch and/or Forest Sciences Board, etc. are part of the forest research and natural resources infrastructure. However, the need for forest stewardship and natural resources research has not diminished but actually increased due to issues related to climate change adaptation, reduced timber supply availability and other challenges on the land base such as water quality and quantity and wildlife habitats.
The BC Chief Forester and other natural resource decision-making forest professionals are required to utilize existing research to guide the balance of resource values decision-making. Although there continues to be research conducted within the MFLNRORD for long-term stewardship issues, there is a risk of losing scientific knowledge due to retirements and staff leaving the Ministry and reduction in funding as the priority declines. This will continue to erode the ability of obtaining data and providing advice to Government internally relative to major natural resource issues. A new model is required as outlined in https://www.bcforestconversation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Need-for-a-new-research-model.pdf.