The British Columbia provincial government on Tuesday (6-1-21) released a paper that lays out far-ranging “policy intentions”, including diversifying the ownership of forest tenures, or harvesting rights, and establishing a framework of compensation in the event those rights are redistributed. The series of B.C. goals and an initial yearlong timeline will work towards modernizing the province’s regulation of the forest sector. Currently, about half of B.C.’s forest tenures are currently held by five major companies, and the new plan includes the goal to increase the tenures for Indigenous Peoples, forest communities and smaller operators. B.C. Premier John Horgan said the existing tenure system is not meeting the needs of forestry communities, workers or “other players in the sector who want access to more fiber to create more jobs, more value-added products.” “We very much want the major players to continue to participate,” he said. “But they have to understand that the old chasing volume is no longer viable in a time of climate change.” The province aims to increase access to wood fiber for value-added domestic manufacturers and begin an audit process of the fee-in-lieu it charges companies when unprocessed logs are exported out of B.C., the intention paper says. Earlier, the B.C. government pledged to implement recommendations from an independent review of B.C.’s old-growth forest management released last year, including the deferral of logging in ecosystems at risk of irreversible loss.
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B.C. lays out plans for 'modernizing' regulation of the forest industry