CanWel clear cutting north of Fernie, B.C., last winter. Credit: Eddie Petryshen

How should B.C.’s private forests be managed?

About 818,000ha of private land in B.C. falls under the Private Managed Forest Land Program

British Columbians can now have their say on how private forests are managed.

On Tuesday, the Province formally announced a review of the Private Managed Forest Land Program.

It was established in 2003 with the introduction of the Private Managed Forest Land Act to encourage sustainable forest management practices, including protecting key public environmental values.

“We want to hear from the public about whether there is room for improvement in the management of private forests and also whether the private managed forest land program is a benefit to private forest owners, and the communities they live in,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The Ministry will meet directly with and accept written submissions from landowners, local government, First Nations and organizations and community groups that are directly impacted by activities on private managed forest land.

Private land logging has been a hot topic in communities such as the Elk Valley as forestry companies move into more visible areas and clearcuts impact trails, and sight lines.

LOOK BACK: Fernie to host logging meeting on Feb. 7

The City of Fernie and City of Nelson have called on the Province to strengthen regulations and standards for private land logging by bringing them in line with those on Crown land.

Their resolutions, endorsed by the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments, will now go to the Union of B.C. Municipalities for consideration at its annual convention in Vancouver from September 23-27.

LOOK BACK: AKBLG endorses Fernie logging resolution

Of the 4.6 million hectares of private land in B.C., about 818,000 hectares – primarily located on southern Vancouver Island and the Kootenays – are managed as part of the Private Managed Forest Land Program and regulated under the Private Managed Forest Land Act and regulations.

The Managed Forest Council is the independent provincial agency established to administer the program.

LOOK BACK: Elk Valley loggers compliant, says Managed Forest Council

“The Managed Forest Council is proud of our responsive role as regulators for private managed forest land and we are pleased that a recent, multi-year review has resulted in regulatory amendments to more effectively protect drinking water quality on managed forest land,” said Rod Davis, chair of the Managed Forest Council.

“The Province’s review of the program will further ensure that the program is meeting the needs of managed forest owners, local communities and residents.”

Information gathered as part of the review will be used by the Ministry to examine how well the program is meeting its goals and whether any changes are necessary to maintain public confidence in the program. A summary report will be ready in fall 2019.

Public input on the program is welcome until 4 p.m. on July 9. Feedback forms and more information are available: Engage.gov.bc.ca/privatemanagedforest.

Just Posted

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

New protocol will better assist victims of sexual assault

Victims of sexual assault are set to benefit from the completion of… Continue reading

School district remains firm on reassignments

Community calling for halt of decision

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

Teachers cast vote of no confidence against SD82 superintendent

“The repercussions of her actions are now creating a divide in the community”: union

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read