Forest reform sparks privatization debate

Are new amendments to convert volume-based tenures to area-based tenures an attempt to privatize Crown lands?

VICTORIA – The B.C. government has introduced amendments to allow the conversion of volume-based forest cutting permits to area-based tenures, a move that some have described as a move toward privatization of Crown forests.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson said the government intends to proceed carefully with converting existing cutting permits, which set a maximum amount of timber that can be removed from a licence area each year. Consultation with communities and First Nations in the forest areas would be extensively consulted first, Thomson said Wednesday.

The change is designed to make forest licences more like existing tree farm licences or community forests, which give licence-holders an incentive to invest more than the legal minimum in replanting and silviculture to increase forest productivity over the long term.

Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson has warned that the move could lead to public forests coming under the control of large forest companies.

Jason Fisher, vice-president of Dunkley Lumber, rejects the privatization argument. His company bought a volume-based tenure at Fort St. James in 2009 when it took over Stewart Lake Lumber, and also holds an area-based tree farm licence at Hixon between Prince George and Quesnel.

“I think that is a misrepresentation of what goes on,” Fisher said Wednesday. “We have numerous recreation areas, lakes where people go fishing, roads that people use to access their favourite hunting sites, berry picking site or mushroom harvesting. All that takes place in the area of the [Hixon tree farm licence].”

NDP forest critic Norm Macdonald said the timber supply committee that toured the province last year to study the state of B.C. forests in the wake of the pine beetle epidemic supported the use of area-based tenures.

But the ministry didn’t have studies to show area-based tenures are a better way to go, although most foresters believe it is better.

 

 

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from east of Sicamous to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Q and A with MLA Doug Clovechok for Columbia River Revelstoke

Columbia River Treaty, Three Valley Gap improvements, caribou, and invasive species were discussed

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Cafe opens in U.S. named Revelstoke Coffee

The owners visited Revelstoke two years ago, loved it and decided to name their business after it

Revelstoke council to hear first proposed cannabis store application

Starbuds would be located at 109 Connaught Ave.

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Single-bridge option chosen to replace Highway 1 bridge in Sicamous

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Sicamous’ Main Street

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read