Part 2: An Evaluation of Forest and Range Practices on the Ground
In its two-part project on conserving fish habitat under FRPA, the Board describes how the effective protection of fish habitat on the forest and range landbase is dependant on detailed planning of forestry and range activities, ensuring that practices on the ground protect fish habitat and that comprehensive monitoring is in place to continually improve practices. The part 1 report, published in 2018, describes government’s role in the protection of fish habitat.
In part 2, Board investigators selected five watersheds across the province known to provide important fish habitat. Investigators looked at planning for the protection of fish habitat, monitoring and how well forest licensees and ranchers are providing for the protection of fish habitat on the ground. Practices examined include maintaining fish passage, sediment management, riparian management and range use.
As a follow-up to the Board’s 2014 Special Investigation of Bridge Planning, Design and Construction, the Board examined 269 newly constructed bridges and 59 wood box culverts in 5 natural resource districts in the summer and fall of 2019.
While safety and protection of the environment improved over the 2014 results, there is still work to do to improve planning and professional assurance of structures.
The Forest Practices Board is pleased to provide a submission to the Strategic Review of Old Growth Management in BC. We have done a fair amount of work involving old growth management through our audits, complaint investigations and special investigations. We are providing a selection of observations based on findings from our work, grouped around two themes: what we don’t know and the need for monitoring and research, and observations on the current management approach.
A Proposed Pathway for Improving Wildlife Management and Habitat Conservation in British Columbia
The Forest Practices Board is pleased to provide a submission to Together for Wildlife. At the outset, we wish to recognize the importance of having a long-term vision and plan for stewardship of BC’s wildlife resources, and the importance of this initiative. This submission draws from reports and investigations the Board has undertaken over almost 25 years.
The Forest Practices Board is pleased to provide a submission to the Provincial Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. Our recommendations are broken into three parts. We suggest that an overarching policy goal guide all actions regarding adaptation. We identify five focus areas where we believe action will have greatest impact, and finally we have provided an appendix with past recommendations from the Board for specific actions that can be taken.
Public Engagement on Amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act (June 2019)
As part of government’s public consultation on proposed amendments to FRPA, the Forest Practices Board submitted comments on the need for modernized planning under FRPA.
READ Board Submission
Priorities for Strengthening the Forest and Range Practices Act (August 2019)
This letter provides the Board’s additional thoughts on some key priorities for legislative reform; these are all derived from previous Board work including investigations, appeals and audits.
READ Board Response
READ Ministry’s Response
The Forest Practices Board strategic plan for 2019-2022 will guide our work and help us to focus on priority issues for the next three years.
Planning for forest management in BC is currently missing a critical level between strategic processes for setting direction (such as land use planning) and operational planning. This tactical level of planning is essential if we are going to move towards a desired future forest for all values.
In this special report, the Board has outlined the advantages and principles of tactical forest planning—why we should do it and what it consists of.
In 2015, the Forest Practices Board published a special investigation report on forest stewardship plans (FSPs). The 2015 report findings were substantial, and the recommendations triggered a quick response from government in the form of non-legal direction and training for practitioners and government staff. Since the 2015 report came out, many FSPs have expired and new replacement FSPs have been submitted to the province for approval.
The Board decided to take a look at the status and content of new FSPs to see if its recommendations were being implemented and if the new replacement FSPs were improving. The results of that follow-up work are contained in this report.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is British Columbia’s land manager, responsible for stewardship of provincial Crown land, cultural and natural resources. The Compliance and Enforcement Branch (C&E) is the law enforcement arm of the ministry and is responsible for ensuring compliance with natural resource legislation.
In 2013, the Board examined the C&E program and released its “Monitoring Licensees’ Compliance with Legislation” special investigation report. The Board found that the number of inspections of forest and range activities was one-third the level carried out before the expansion of C&E’s mandate. Since that report came out, the C&E program has changed dramatically.
With focus on the Wildfire Act and FRPA, this investigation examines the compliance and enforcement framework that government has established.