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

Young Hearts Triathlon

Annual event saw racers of all ages swim, bike, and run their way to a cheering finish line on Saturday, July 13th

Museum presents old time film festival

Series of six films Saturday, July 20th through Sunday, July 21st at museum

Peddling the practice of bikepacking

Growing sport of backcountry biking in the Valley

Balancing aesthetics and affordability in Canal Flats

Canal Flats Council briefs of July 8th

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read