By the BC Forest Practices Board
This investigation arose from a complaint by a resident of Prince George who was concerned about the management of biodiversity in the Prince George Timber Supply Area. The investigation examined compliance with the legal requirements of the Order Establishing Landscape Biodiversity Objectives for the Prince George Timber Supply Area (the Order). It also looked at whether implementation of the Order was consistent with the Implementation Policy that accompanied the Order.
The investigation found that licensees were complying with the legal requirements for managing biodiversity. However, those requirements were established almost twenty years ago and have not been formally reviewed or revised. In that time, the land base was severely affected by the MPB and salvage logging that followed, creating conditions that could not have been fully understood when the Order was established. The investigation identified several actions that can be taken to improve management of biodiversity.
The Board has previously commented on the value of public planning processes to establish clear objectives for the land base. The results of this investigation emphasize that those objectives cannot be frozen in time. Plans need to be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the natural environment, new information and knowledge, and to reflect societies changing values.
The Board has called for amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act to incorporate tactical planning as a means to establish clear objectives for our forests and their many values. One of the Board’s proposed principles for tactical planning is “continuous improvement; monitoring of plan implementation and effectiveness is fundamental and is built into the process design to provide feedback to adapt and continuously improve plan outcomes over time.“
The Board encourages this principle to be applied in the Prince George Timber Supply Area and across the province.