On Thursday (12-16-21), the B.C. government released a progress report on the steps taken since they announced in early November that harvesting would immediately cease in 2.6 million hectares of old-growth forests.
The report noted that the government was making progress on the recommendations of its Old Growth Strategic Review Panel and is continuing to work with First Nations to either immediately defer old-growth harvesting within their territories, or to continue the discussions.
In the update, B.C. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy said that the province is “working in partnership with First Nations rights and title holders to implement additional deferrals of B.C.’s most at-risk old-growth forests and to develop a new approach to sustainable forest management.”
“We recognize there is a diversity of perspectives on this issue and some First Nations are more involved in forestry. In line with our new vision for forest care, the steps we are taking together today will ensure we can all share the benefits of our forests for generations to come,” Conroy added.
Over the past month, the government has contacted all 204 First Nations in British Columbia, asking them to indicate a preference on the proposed deferrals. It heard back from 161.
For those First Nations that chose to immediately defer harvesting, the government said that happens in two ways: “by licensees agreeing to voluntarily pause harvest; or by a minister’s order under Part 13 of the Forest Act, rescinding approved permits and preventing new permits from being issued.”
The deferrals will be announced as soon as they are implemented.
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BC issues progress update on old-growth, worker supports