On Monday afternoon (11-15-21), legislation was introduced that will help bring forth the B.C. Provincial government’s vision for forest care. According to the government, The Forest Amendment Act of 2021 is legislation to help build a more diverse and inclusive forest sector that works for people. The Forest Amendment Act will ensure local communities, First Nations, and smaller companies have more opportunities in the forest sector, establish a fair framework for compensation regarding changes to harvesting rights, and enhance government’s ability to manage timber harvesting in the public interest.
Commenting on the legislation, Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development said, “Our forests make B.C. one of the best places to live, but old forestry policies have limited opportunities for local communities, First Nations, and smaller companies. By fixing the Forest Act, we’re building on our vision for forest care to better share all the benefits of our forests for generations to come.”
These legislative changes support the government’s vision where workers and communities benefit from secure, innovative forestry jobs, Indigenous Peoples are full partners in sustainable forest management, and the oldest and most ancient trees are protected. The proposed amendments will address uncertainty with respect to compensation rules by developing a consistent and clear framework outlining what is compensable and how it is to be valued. This will apply in instances when a licensee’s timber-harvesting rights are reduced to support reconciliation or other objectives. The province intends to double the amount of replaceable forest tenure held by First Nations.
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Province building a more diverse, inclusive forest sector