The Great Bear Rainforest land use orders (GBRLUO) are the result of collaborative land use planning involving the B.C. government, First Nations, and partners. The 2016 GBRLUO is built upon the principles of continuous improvement and include periodic reviews beginning in 2021, 2026, and every following ten years.
In 2020, the 5-year review of 2016 GBRLUO implementation began, led by technical representatives from Coastal First Nations (CFN), Nanwakolas Council (Nanwakolas) and the B.C. government. The government-to-government (G2G) team worked to review reports, data, and information provided by BC Timber Sales, major forest companies, and environmental groups. Based on this review, the G2G team developed proposed changes focused on four key themes:
- First Nations: Increased oversight by First Nations of forest planning and harvest activity, and stronger protection and stewardship of Indigenous cultural heritage and use of forest resources.
- Aquatic Habitat: Strengthened requirements for protection of important fisheries watersheds, maintenance of watershed health, and stewardship of fish-bearing rivers and streams and other important aquatic habitats and riparian forests.
- Biodiversity: Improvements in the way Landscape Reserve Designs (LRDs) are being created that enable First Nations to take a stronger role in their development and expedite the protection of important forest values including rare and at-risk old growth.
- Wildlife: Increased requirements for the protection and stewardship of habitat for regionally important wildlife, particularly in relation to grizzly bears, Kermode (Spirit) bears and black bears.
From June 9th to August 8th, 2022, the pubic was invited to review and comment on the proposed changes to the GBRLUO by reviewing the Summary of Changes.
Responses were received from a mix of industry, professional organizations, community groups, and individuals. Many respondents were supportive of the goals for aquatic habitat, biodiversity, and wildlife. Some concerns were raised about potential impacts to harvest opportunities. Other concerns included whether additional resources would be available for training, First Nations capacity, and monitoring. Provincial staff reviewed these comments and followed up with further outreach to tourism operators, municipal and regional governments, professional practices boards, the philanthropic sector, and small business owners. The province heard a strong message through these conversations that British Columbians wanted to be more connected and involved in the Great Bear Rainforest Project, to learn about its ongoing implementation, and to have a space to offer their perspective and experience.
Input leads to action
Input from discussions and written submissions will be reviewed by our government-to-government tables as we work to finalize a set of proposed amendments to the 2016 GBRLUO. If approved, the final package will be available online at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/crown-land-water/land-use-planning/regions/west-coast/great-bear-rainforest/great-bear-rainforest-legal-direction-agreements
For more information about the Great Bear Rainforest, please visit the Great Bear Rainforest webpage.