Planned logging in Great Bear Rainforest investigated

VICTORIA – A complaint investigation has found TimberWest is meeting the intent of the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) land use order for planned logging on East Thurlow Island.

Residents of nearby Sonora Island filed the complaint when they became concerned about how TimberWest timber harvesting would affect conservation of old forest and rare and endangered plant communities.

“We found that TimberWest responded to the concerns of the residents by proactively developing criteria to conserve old forest and rare and endangered plant communities,” said Kevin Kriese, board chair, Forest Practices Board. “TimberWest also adjusted its planned harvesting based on the results of consultation and incorporated new guidance on how to plan for old and rare forest ecosystems when it became available. The investigation also revealed steps that can be taken to improve how the legal order is implemented in this area.

“Implementing the GBR order requires balancing conservation of ecosystem integrity with improvement of human well-being. It is a complex process, particularly in areas with a long history of past disturbance, such as East Thurlow Island.”

The investigation looked at how TimberWest identified old forest and plant communities for protection and compared the approach to a recently approved provincial field guide for site level identification.

The report includes two recommendations to ensure the field guide is used to identify candidate forest stands for protection in the future. The Province also plans to review implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in March 2021, providing an opportunity for government and First Nations to review and, if necessary, revise the overall direction for EBM.

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. The board investigates public complaints about forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.


Darlene Oman
Forest Practices Board
250 213-4705 / 1 800 994-5899