Studies indicate there is a 'grizzly bear highway' on the Central Coast

Pending legislation supports innovative forest management in Great Bear Rainforest

The Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act, introduced last week, supports a strict new ecosystem-based management

The Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act, introduced last week, supports a strict new ecosystem-based management regime created through unprecedented collaboration for the globally unique region along British Columbia’s north and central coast.

The Great Bear Rainforest covers 6.4 million hectares, and includes one-quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest. Ecosystem-based management was central to an agreement involving environmental groups and forest companies, and endorsed by local First Nations and the B.C. government. It is an adaptive, systematic approach to managing human activities that seeks to ensure the co-existence of healthy, fully  functioning ecosystems and human communities.

This innovative approach to forest management requires supporting legislation. The act, if passed and brought into force, will enable implementation of unique ecosystem-based management rules in the Great Bear Rainforest that move beyond current legislation while ensuring normal rules under the Forest Act still apply.

The act will legally establish a Great Bear Rainforest area, and assign an initial allowable annual cut of 2.5 million cubic metres per year for 10 years for the entire area. After 10 years, the allowable annual cut would be determined by the chief forester under Section 8 of the Forest Act, as is the case in other management units.

It will establish new timber supply areas and reconfigure existing ones to better reflect the boundaries of the Great Bear Rainforest, and provide for the designation of new special forest management areas that prohibit commercial timber harvesting activities.

It will enable regulations to specify where forest practices may differ from those under the Forest and Range Practices Act and regulations, and allow the minister to set “partitions” at the licence level. Partitions can be set to ensure a certain portion of a licensee’s annual cut is directed in a particular geographic area, or restricted to a particular tree species.

The act, which makes it clear that the unique provisions under ecosystem-based management apply only to the Great Bear Rainforest, will come into force by enabling regulation in summer 2016.

“We have a shared responsibility to pass on our province to future generations as magnificent and pristine as we found it while continuing the ancient tradition of making a living off the land. Today is the culmination of working together with First Nations, industry and environmental organizations for a common purpose,” said Premier Christy Clark.

“The Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act brings increased environmental sustainability to all our traditional territories. It also provides greater access to forestry opportunities; as well as ownership to more carbon tonnes than we currently have and includes special protection areas,” said Chief Marilyn Slett, president, Coastal First Nations.

With the new measures in the land use order and legislation, 85% of the forest will be protected and 15% (550,000 hectares) will be available for logging, supporting local jobs. The act creates special forest management areas – 273,000 hectares where commercial timber harvesting activities are prohibited.

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

O’Reilly trial scheduled to start January 15 for Anahim Lake murders

O’Reilly is charged with first-degree murder

School District 49 to re-open Nusatsum Elementary in September 2018

SD49 says increasing enrollment is driving its decision to re-open the school

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

B.C. hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Most Read