Forest Practices Board Chair Speaks to American Buyers about Forestry Practices

Victoria – Today, the Chair of the BC Forest Practices Board is speaking in San Francisco at a forum on Sourcing Environmentally Responsible Forest Products. The event will be attended by executives of some large US corporations, including Xerox, Starbucks and Levi Strauss. Keith Moore was invited to speak at this event to give the Board’s assessment of current forestry practices in the province, and to address issues about obtaining environmentally responsible products.

“This event is a sign of the growing international interest in how we manage our forests in BC,” said Moore. “Major US companies want to ensure that they are buying environmentally responsible products. That puts more pressure on BC to maintain sound forest practices and a strong and effective Forest Practices Code, if we wish to continue to have access to those markets.”

The event was organized by Business for Social Responsibility in response to a December 1998 advertisement in the New York Times that claimed a number of major companies were no longer going to buy BC forest products. The event brings together company representatives, environmental groups, and others with an interest in forest certification and forestry operations. Other BC organizations that will be presenting to the forum are MacMillan Bloedel, the Forest Alliance and the Coastal Rainforest Coalition.

Moore will tell the forum that BC has a comprehensive Forest Practices Code that establishes standards that operations must meet. “Forest practices in BC have improved significantly as a result of the Code, but there is still a need for further improvement. There is also a need for better plans to ensure that important resource values are protected,” said Moore.

Business for Social Responsibility is a US national association of businesses working cooperatively to change the way business is done. It seeks to implement a social and environmental bottom line along with the traditional financial bottom line.

The Forest Practices Code regulates all aspects of operational forestry and range management on Crown Lands and some private lands in the province-that means all aspects of logging, road construction and maintenance, road deactivation, planting and other silviculture practices, fire protection, and protection of the environment and recreational values related to those practices. The Code addresses a wide variety of land uses and social values-watershed protection, wildlife, recreation and cultural and historical values.

Created in 1995, the Forest Practices Board is BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest practices. The Board provides British Columbians with objective and independent assessments of the state of forest planning and practices in the province, compliance with the Code, and the achievement of its intent. The Board’s main roles are: auditing forest practices, undertaking investigations in response to public complaints, undertaking special investigations of any Code related forestry issues, participating in administrative reviews and appeals, and providing reports on Board activities, findings and recommendations.

Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964

May 6, 1999