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  • Library: The over-exploitation of BC forests

    Raven Tree
    Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson announced in February 2018 that a Panel would review British Columbia (BC) Forest Inventory Program. The announcement included the Panel members as Bill Bourgeois, Clark Binkley, Valerie LeMay, Ian Moss and Nick Reynolds.
    Key functions of BC’s Forest Inventory Program include:
      Undertaking new forest inventories to replace older ones
      Maintaining existing forest inventories through updates
      Ground sampling and re-measurement of natural (unmanaged) stands
      Monitoring the post-harvest growth of managed stands
      Providing models to project stand development and future yield.
    The BC Forest Inventory Panel undertook a review of the Forest Inventory Program between April and September 2018. The Panel’s work included reviewing the existing program, requesting and then evaluating written submissions, interviewing key users and developers, and assessing programs in other provinces and jurisdictions. This report summarizes the Panel’s findings and provides recommendations on possible improvements to the BC Forest Inventory Program.
    British Columbia Forest Inventory Review Panel Technical Background Report (2018).pdf

    Raven Tree
    Submission by Anthony Britneff and Martin Watts
    Our submission is based on a number of questions originally submitted by the opposition forest critic to the forest minister during the 2014 and 2016 Estimates Debates and on the ministerial responses to those questions prepared by MFLNRO&RD for the forest minister.
    While FAIB managers seem to consider the 2014 and 2016 Estimates Debate questions to be some sort of personal condemnation of staff work, the questions are simply a reflection of real issues encountered in the course of completing contracts for clients and issues that FAIB managers chose to ignore, such as:
    • MFLNRO&RD data management problems were identified when validating MFLNRO&RD data under contract for FAIB for use in parameterizing1 VDYP7 and problems identified when preparing data for PrognosisBC calibration under a contract for RPB,
    • SIBEC problems were identified while under contract to RPB to assess the use of SIBEC data for planning and investing in silviculture activities under the LBIS and,
    •SIBEC, TASS/TIPSY, biomass conversion and access to data problems were identified during the quantification, validation and verification of forest carbon offsets projects to ISO standards, which require uncertainty to be documented and, if possible, quantified in order to account for it.
    In this submission, we go through the questions on the DVD (provided separately) in reference to the forest minister’s responses, while adding any relevant updates. We also incorporate these subject areas:
    • Individual tree volume,
    • Additional ground sample programs and the analyses associated with them,
    • The culling of the PSPs,
    • The debate between the YSM and SDM programs and,
    • The TSR and AAC determination processes with respect to VRI attribute adjustment, VRI
    statistical analysis, G&Y model assumptions and the use of monitoring data.
    A submission to the Forest Inventory Program Review Panel (2018).pdf

    Raven Tree
    Report produced by the ministry of forests
    This document is the sustainable forest management report for British Columbia (B.C.). Sustainable forest management (SFM) is concerned with maintaining the long-term health of forest ecosystems while providing environmental, economic, and social opportunities for present and future generations.1 Through national and international agreements, the set of topics and statistics (called indicators) to include in an SFM report have been identified.2 Jurisdictions around the world monitor, assess, and report on SFM in conformance with these agreements. The content of The State of British Columbia′s Forests was guided by these agreements and is consistent with State of the Forest reports from major forest jurisdictions around the world.3
    The purpose of this report is two-fold:
    • to provide information on the condition of British Columbia′s forest and range resources, and the environmental, social, and economic values associated with these resources; and
    • to provide an assessment of that information.
    In this report, detailed information and assessments are provided for 91 indicators, grouped into 24 topic areas. In the section below, key findings are summarized by eight central themes for SFM reporting that are widely used around the world. The majority of the data in this summary and throughout the report is current to 2008. In a few cases, data from 2009 is presented, and in other cases, only older data is available.
    2010 State of the Forests report optimized.pdf

    Raven Tree
    By BC Ministry of Forests and Range staff
    The current, historically unprecedented outbreaks of mountain pine beetle and Dothistroma needle blight in British Columbia are strong indicators that relationships between pests, hosts and climate are being altered as climate changes. Numerous recent pest epidemics elsewhere in North America provide further strong evidence of the impact of changing climate on forest ecosystems.
    The interactions between pests, hosts and climate are complex, have co-evolved over centuries, and in many instances, are not well understood. This, together with the uncertainty associated with how regional climates will change, makes it difficult to predict the responses of specific pests to climate change. However, as climate changes, the environmental parameters under which present forests were established will change. When these changes result in increasingly sub-optimal conditions, trees will become physiologically stressed. Stressed trees are generally more attractive, more nutritious, and less resistant to many forest pests. Changes in thermal and moisture environments, combined with changes to host plant conditions, will interact synergistically facilitating the development of insect and pathogen outbreaks. The incidence of forest decline syndromes is also likely to increase as a result of general reductions in forest health.
    Large scale, pest-caused forest decline and mortality will have long-term ecological, social and economic consequences. Timber supplies, water resources as well as other forest resources will be impacted. We anticipate increasing levels of mortality in the standing inventory in many Timber Supply Areas in the province as a result of forest pest activity. Much of the immature growing stock will also be affected by increasing levels of pest-caused mortality, growth losses and regeneration delays. Although the mountain pine beetle epidemic represents a current extreme, in many Timber Supply Areas it is possible that the combined impacts of multiple pests under the influence of climate change could approach a similar magnitude of impact on the remaining timber resource.
    Although there is still much uncertainty regarding the severity and extent of climate change, there are strategies, which could be implemented to mitigate the impacts on forest health. We provide concise recommendations that would better track changing forest health conditions, increase our ability to forecast pest related impacts of climate change, increase the effectiveness of forest planning by proactively incorporating forest health issues and improve our abilities to prevent, mitigate and adapt to changing forest pest conditions. The unprecedented and concurrent outbreaks of insects and diseases in BC emphasize the need to expedite an action plan on the following nine recommendations of equal importance:
    1. Mandate expanded forest health monitoring for forest health agents at the landscape, watershed and stand level, as a component of ministry responsibility;
    2. Build a forest health research section;
    3. Implement modelling projects to predict future forest health impacts;
    4. Maintain forest health strategies and develop climate change risk assessments for each Timber Supply Area;
    5. Review and revise legislation and policy to identify forest health risks and strategies within forest stewardship plans;
    6. Institute landscape-level planning for forest health, as well as for other values;
    7. Develop and implement hazard- and risk-rating systems for forest insects and diseases;
    8. Implement changes to tree species selection and stocking standards to enable facilitated migration;
    9. Enable the research and development of products and tactics for the treatment of forest insects and diseases.
    The management of forest lands has clearly become more challenging as a result of climate change. We believe that our current forest management paradigm, which assumes stable climates and stable forest conditions, could be improved to better cope with highly uncertain future forest conditions. Forest management needs to respond and adapt to accommodate the diverse and innovative practices we will require to manage our forests into the future.
    The Implications of Climate Change to Forest Health in British Columbia-A Report to the Chief Forester (2009).pdf

    Raven Tree
    (By BC Ministry of Forests and Range staff)
    This report on the state of British Columbia’s forests is designed to inform both general and technical readers about our forests from a particular viewpoint – that of sustainability.
    As chief forester, it is my role to advise government and inform the public on sustainable forest management. Currently, many sources provide factual information on parts of this complex topic, however few if any provide an overview that is both accessible and comprehensive. In addition to providing factual information, this report presents assessments of sustainability by Ministry of Forests and Range staff.
    I hope that both the facts and the assessments will encourage informed, constructive discussion. A periodic review of our forests, including environmental, economic, social and governance aspects, can show us how far we’ve come and help us decide where future actions would be desirable.
    New pressures such as climate change and the mountain pine beetle epidemic affect all aspects of our forests and therefore require holistic responses. One example, begun in 2005, is the Future Forest Ecosystems of British Columbia initiative, which aims to maintain and enhance the resilience of the province's forest ecosystems.
    This report presents 24 indicators based on international and national frameworks of indicators for assessing sustainable forest management. It emphasizes issues important to British Columbia. The six indicators published in the 2004 edition are repeated, four of them with changes and updated data. New, detailed information is provided for six additional indicators. Overviews are provided for the remaining 12 indicators that will be fully developed in future editions of the report.
    Your feedback on this report’s approach, format and level of information is welcomed and will help us improve subsequent editions.
    With two-thirds of British Columbia covered by forests, British Columbians have a real stake in, and many opportunities to contribute to, sustainable forest management. Using the best science-based information available to make informed decisions, we can ensure that the forests of British Columbia continue to provide their many benefits to future generations.
    Jim Snetsinger, RPF
    Chief Forester
    Ministry of Forests and Range
    2006 State of the Forests report.pdf

    Raven Tree
    THIS REPORT FROM 2004 shows that the ministry was optimistically predicting much higher growth in its plantations than has turned out to be the case. At the time the report was written, it was well known in the ministry what the implications of the Mountain Pine Beetle would likely be (the loss turned out to be not as bad as was believed would be the case at the time). So the MPB can't be blamed for the miscalculation of timber supply around this time.
    The report predicted timber supply would be about 74 million cubic metres per year by 2020. The actual harvest in that year, which followed the closure of dozens of mills in BC's Interior due to a shortage of timber supply, was around 50 million cubic metres.
    In other words, BC's Chief Forester Jim Snetsinger signed off on a timber supply analysis that predicted there would be 50 percent more timber available in 2020 than there actually was. The result was many years of over-cutting of healthy forests.
    2004 State of the Forests MoF.pdf

    Raven Tree
    This report briefly describes the growth and yield prediction systems currently supplied by the British Columbia Ministry of Forests (MOF). Only those growth and yield prediction systems that generate estimates of stand volume are presented here. Site index curves, individual tree volume equations, and other important growth and yield tools are not described.
    This report is intended for MOF and licensee personnel who are involved in preparing or reviewing MOF growth and yield predictions. Therefore, the reader is assumed to be familiar with growth and yield terminology and concepts, especially as they relate to the situation in British Columbia. Throughout the report, synthesis of information is stressed rather than technical detail.Relevant background information is provided for the growth and yield prediction systems, and examples are given to illustrate their proper use.
    Growth and Yield Prediction Systems (1991).pdf

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