SURREY – On April 1, the BC government implemented initial amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act. These amendments will support the health and sustainability of BC’s forests and range lands, while strengthening public confidence in how these vital resources are managed
“A number of Surrey Board of Trade members in the forestry sector, and those that support this industry, will benefit from these amendments,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
The Forest Sector Revitalization has five main goals:
• Rebuilding solid wood and secondary industries to ensure more BC logs and fibre are processed in BC
• Improving harvest performance to ensure more fibre is available for domestic mills, including the pulp and paper sector
• Maintaining a credible auction system by taking steps to ensure bids on timber sale licences are made independently
• Fostering stronger business-to-business relationships between BC Timber Sales, major licensees and First Nations
• Restoring public confidence through amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act and auditing the private managed forest land regime.
These goals come from recommendations by First Nations groups, forestry professionals, and other resource groups.
Of the 95 million hectares that make up British Columbia, approximately 55 million hectares are forested. Of this forested land, approximately 22 million hectares are considered part of the public timber harvesting land base. Less than one per cent is harvested each year. British Columbia has 51.9 million hectares of land certified to one of three internationally recognized independent sustainable forest management standards. This is more than any other jurisdiction in the world, apart from Canada as a whole. There are over 140 forest stewardship plans and about 1,475 range-use plans throughout the province.
A public consultation will be held later this Spring to inform the government of further reforms to strengthen BC’s forestry industry.
For more information on the government’s media release here https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0053-000541
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade