Government committed to broad public engagement on the topic of converting some or a portion of some volume-based forest licences to new or expanded area-based tree farm licences. This is intended to help address the issue of a declining timber supply in B.C.’s Interior caused by the mountain pine beetle.
From April 1, 2014 to May 30, 2014, British Columbians could visit the consultation blog to learn more and to provide feedback. Feedback was specifically being gathered on:
- the social, economic and environmental benefits that should be sought from proponents interested in converting their forest licences; and
- the criteria for evaluating applications and the process for implementing conversions, including specific application requirements and target locations for conversion opportunities.
Jim Snetsinger, a registered professional forester, led the process by both meeting with stakeholders and posting topics, questions and comments on the blog.
April 1 to May 30, 2014
- 8,658 visits to the website
- 179 online comments
- 62 stakeholder submissions
- 4,276 emails
- 97 stakeholder meetings
- 3 First Nations workshops
Input leads to action:
- On August 28, 2014, the Province released the recommendations report. The report had 35 recommendations covering the full spectrum of economic, social, environmental, First Nations and administrative issues surrounding the proposed conversion of volume-based forest licences to area-based tree farm licences that government should consider if it chose to proceed with legislative changes.
- Recommendations included a focus on demonstrable and quantifiable public benefits, forest stewardship/management, up-to-date knowledge of the forest resource prior to any conversions, enhanced public involvement, significant forest investment commitments from proponents to grow the allowable annual cut, strong and verifiable local support and demonstrable benefits for First Nations.
- Additional input was received on issues such as forest practices, public involvement, corporate concentration, forest inventory, government’s ability to provide oversight and monitoring of forest management activities, local control of public forests and First Nations rights and title issues.
- The Province decided not to proceed with legislative changes that would enable the conversion of volume-based to area-based forest licences.
Read more on what citizens said in the Area Tenures Results of the Public Engagement and Recommendations Report.