In a new report, the Forest Practices Board recommends that government adopt a tactical forest planning process to direct forestry operations on Crown land.
“For more than 20 years, the board has called for improved planning and objectives at the landscape and watershed scales,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. “Recent board work has confirmed that forest stewardship plans, despite considerable energy and effort to develop and approve, do not address the need for planning for multiple forest values across the landscape.”
The board recommends a planning process that takes broad objectives from land-use plans and translates them into a plan for achieving the desired future forest on a specific area of land. The report goes on to say such a process must:
* be inclusive of Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and the public;
* integrate all forest values;
* be place based and forward looking;
* be embedded in the forest management system; and
* include monitoring and continuous improvement over time.
“The need for landscape-level planning is more critical now than at any time in the past, as forest resources are increasingly affected by the cumulative effects of multiple developments and natural disturbances due to climate change,” Kriese said.
Currently, government is consulting with the public on potential amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act. The board recommends that the amendments include a requirement for tactical forest plans throughout the province.
“Planning is a complex process, and there is limited experience with this form of planning in B.C.,” Kriese said. “It will take time to build the appropriate models and tools to implement, and we encourage the public and all stakeholders to bring their creativity and innovation to bear on efforts to improve forest planning in B.C.”
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.