Forest Practices Board statement on FRPA amendments
VICTORIA – Kevin Kriese, chair of B.C.’s Forest Practices Board, has issued the following statement in response to the tabling of Bill 23, the Forest Statutes Amendment Act, in the legislature on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021:
“The Forest Practices Board is pleased to see the introduction of amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) through Bill 23. For many years, the board has been recommending legislative changes to strengthen forest and range practices in the province. Our most recent recommendations for change were made in reports issued in 2017 and 2019, as well as two letters to the minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in the summer of 2019.
“A number of the changes being proposed speak directly to issues we have identified through our work – the introduction of forest landscape plans and the ability to publish contravention determinations to increase public transparency are just two examples. These changes are both constructive and necessary and we are pleased to see them included in the bill.
“We also note that amendments to FRPA passed by the legislature in May 2019 still have not been brought into force and we look forward to seeing regulations proceed so that those improvements, like the ability for the public to see approximate locations of roads and cutblocks on a forest operations map, can actually be implemented.
“We recognize there is still debate to come and we support the Legislative Assembly in carrying out the work that is necessary to ensure sound forest and range practices legislation that benefits all British Columbians in the future.”
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.
For more on board recommendations for legislative change, see: https://www.bcfpb.ca/reports-publications/reports/board-comments-on-amendments-to-frpa/
Forest Practices Board
250 213-4705 / 1 800 994-5899
October 21, 2021