Review Process

 The review will be carried out in three concurrent phases:

  1. Online public engagement – Input was sought via an online questionnaire that was open until July 22, 2019, to all British Columbians.
  2. Consultation with communities and stakeholders – The ministry met directly with, and accepted written submissions from, organizations and groups who are directly impacted by regulation of private managed forest land, including:
    • Local governments and community groups
    • Indigenous communities
    • The Private Forest Landowners Association, which represents the majority of private managed forest landowners

3. Consultation with regulators – The ministry consulted with:

    • the Private Managed Forest Land Council (also known as the Managed Forest Council) who are responsible for the administration of private managed forest land legislation
    • government departments and agencies responsible for aspects of private managed forest land regulation

Information gathered will be used by the ministry to examine how well the program is meeting its goals. A summary report with recommendations will be developed for fall 2019.

Scope of Review

Specific areas to be examined during the review include:

Review TopicDetails
Program GoalsThe primary goals of the Private Managed Forest Land Program are to
• encourage private landowners to manage their lands for long-term forest production; and
• encourage sustainable forest management practices, including protecting key public environmental values.
Management Objectives for Public Environmental ValuesThe Private Managed Forest Land Act establishes management objectives for the following key public environmental values:
• soil conservation
• critical wildlife habitat
• fish habitat
• drinking water quality
• reforestation.

These requirements are in addition to provincial and federal environmental laws that apply to all private landowners such as the Water Sustainability Act, Environmental Management Act, Wildfire Act, Wildlife Act, and federal Fisheries Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, and Species at Risk Act.
Regulatory Framework for Environmental ValuesThe regulatory framework includes the legislative provisions, regulations, policies, guidelines, processes and organizational structures associated with achieving the objectives.

Included in this framework are audits and regulatory reviews of the Managed Forest Council.
Incentives for Participation in programKey benefits of participation include:
• Opportunity for lower property assessed values and taxes
• Landowners have the right to harvest trees and local governments cannot adopt bylaws or require permits that would restrict forest management activities.
Disincentives for Exit from the ProgramExit fees are applied when land is removed from the Managed Forest Land Class within 15 years. Most private forest has now been classified beyond 15 years, and is now eligible for withdrawal without application of the exit fee.

Out of Scope

The following issues are considered out of scope for this review process. These issues have already been, or are in the process of being addressed, as part of other government initiatives.

  • Property assessment calculation conducted by the BC Assessment Authority
  • Public access to private managed forest land
  • Building of dwellings on private managed forest land
  • Log export policies as they relate to private managed forest land
  • Deletion of managed forest land from tree farm licences, woodlots or community forest agreements

Timeline

Information gathered will be used by the ministry to examine how well the program is meeting its goals. A summary report with recommendations will be developed for fall 2019.