The Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) ecosystem is a high priority for protection in British Columbia for a variety of reasons. This ecosystem is home to 29 endangered plant communities. Additionally, the southern part of Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands contain eighty per cent of the CDF ecosystem in the world. There are 256,800 hectares of this ecosystem in British Columbia, and the Province owns only nine per cent of this.
In February 2017, the Province proposed more areas for protection. These new areas totaled 1,125 hectares and were located on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands.
The Province shared this proposal for First Nation consultation on October 31, 2017. The Province shared this proposal for public review from November 6, 2017 to January 15, 2018. The proposal was also shared with stakeholders.
Date: November 7, 2017 to January 5, 2018
The Province sent letters and emails and, in some cases, set up meetings, to consult with 19 First Nations about the proposal. Twelve First Nations did not respond. Two First Nations sent letters with no objection. Five First Nations had concerns with the proposal. Two First Nations did not share any further concerns once given more information. Three First Nations had remaining concerns with the proposal. The Province provided deeper engagement to work with those First Nations to address their concerns.
The Province advertised the proposal for public review from November 2017 to January 2018. The Province posted information online and in newspapers in affected communities. In total, 1,078 individuals or groups gave comments, and 1,057 (98%) were supportive of the proposal. Some responses recommended that the Province protect more CDF.
The Province shared the proposal with affected stakeholders. The Province sent referrals to all licensees operating in areas encompassing CDF parcels.
Input leads to action:
The Province used all information received from the public review and First Nations consultation in the decision to approve parcels.
The Province changed two parcels in response to the review and consultation.
The area of CDF ecosystem protected from logging is now over 11,000 hectares. The protection has legal authority by way of amendment to the Coastal Douglas-fir Order under the Land Act. This Order manages protected lands for higher stewardship and conservation.