Re: Forest Practices Board, Forest Stewardship Plans Report (August 2015)
The August 2015 BC Forest Practices Board (FPB) report left no doubt that Forest Stewardship Plans (FSPs) on our vast public lands, are failing. Strong, corrective action is needed.
A 2006 FPB report noted lack of enforceability and low quality FSP’s. In this 2015 report, the Board found “there has been no improvement.”
In a 2012 BC Auditor General report “An Audit of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ Management of Timber” part of this problem was identified. Responsibility for forest stewardship in BC forest legislation is split between industry and the Crown (Province of BC). Industry is responsible following logging (until free to grow, 7-20 years) and the Crown is responsible from free growing until logging re-occurs. No Forest Stewardship Plan by the Crown is required, beyond free to grow.
The Province must amend this forest legislation to require long-term forest stewardship on public land. Then responsible Provincial forest managers could monitor, using performance ratios, to ask (1) are we growing more timber volume than being logged? (2) is the quality of timber supply, increasing or declining?
British Columbians must act like owners, on our public forestland (94 percent of BC).
Ray Travers, RPF ( Ret)