Proposed B.C. Forest Tenure Amendments Aims to Make Major Changes

The B.C. government is moving forward with its far-reaching measures to remake the forest tenure system. The measures include reducing existing company cutting rights, paying compensation, and reassigning logging rights to Indigenous and community forests. It also is requiring transparency by requiring area-based tenure holders to share forest inventory information with the chief forester.

According to B.C. Premier John Horgan, the B.C. forest industry has been warned since 2019 of the changes and the decision to move ahead with a new plan came after voluntary measures to share timber resources were not good enough.

On Monday (11-15-21), Forest Minister Katrine Conroy introduced a 160-page set of amendments, which build on earlier changes that she described as making the province “the landlord of the forest again.” Conroy said, “The proposed legislation will establish a tool that will enable government to reduce timber harvesting rights of existing forest tenure holders, provide compensation and redistribute the timber harvesting rights to First Nations and communities.”

The legislation formalizes Premier John Horgan’s commitment to fund reassignment of existing timber licenses to Indigenous communities, first used with a $2.5 million payment to the Simpcw First Nation for a share of timber rights transferred from Canfor Corp. to Interfor after the closure of the Vavenby sawmill near Clearwater. This legislation closely follows the announced deferred logging of 26,000 square kilometers of old-growth forests which has received criticism from both industry and Indigenous leaders.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.
Original Source:
Timber buy-back, redistribution in latest B.C. forest overhaul