Want to dig deeper?
Here are documents and websites that will help you better understand our situation and logging in general.
BCTS Forest Stewardship Plan for Chilliwack Forest District, 2014 update
“The purpose of the FSP is to outline objectives set forth by the Government of British Columbia related to forest management activities proposed on crown lands.” This is the current FSP which is up for renewal as proposed FSP643 including a map of the area.
Forest Stewardship Plans: Are they meeting expectations?, Forest Practices Board, August 2015
“It has been nine years since the Board reported on the initial set of Forest Stewardship Plans (FSPs) prepared under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). Several problems were identified in that original report, and it is truly disappointing to have to report now that the situation has not improved. … The Board finds, based on our sample, that most FSPs contain results or strategies that do not demonstrate consistency with objectives, and, that all have significant problems with measurability or verifiability.”
An Interview with Herb Hammond on Changes in BC Forest Policy, Watershed Sentinel, September 30, 2013
“…this government in the last decade has de facto privatized public land. They have removed all vestiges of public consultation or the providing of public information. They’ve done this through three routes. First of all, they down-sized the Ministry of Forests by nearly a third. Then they did away with the Ministry of Forests altogether and set up this ombuds-Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations, eliminating the Ministry’s responsibilities for planning and for approval of industry’s plans. Now they simply process permits for industry. That was a huge loss because we no longer have anyone with a social conscience looking after forest lands; we have timber companies looking after forest lands.”
BCTS Business Plan 2016/16 and 2017/18 , BC Timber Sales
“BC Timber Sales is a semi-autonomous program within the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations with financial and operational independence. BC Timber Sales has an integral role in supporting the Forest Sector Strategy in the BC Jobs Plan. It also supports the Ministry’s Four Key Pillars, its Goal of Productive, thriving natural resource sector and resilient communities, and its Objective of Economic benefits of natural resource development are optimized.”
Logging Lantzville: Small town fights to save local forest, CBC News, April 9, 2017.
“Dozens of community members have banded together, spawning the Save Lantzville Forests movement…. the group is calling on the provincial government to set aside a parcel of land that would remain protected. But after nearly two years of lobbying the government, and thousands of petition signatures to protect the forests, the government has expressed little interest in altering the license.”
Failed reforestation near Creston, CBC News, July 16, 2016.
“A failed reforestation effort in the Kootenays has left B.C.’s logging watchdog concerned. Arrow Glenn Ltd, a private logging company with access to over 600 hectares of forested land in B.C., failed to reforest several clear-cuts near Creston — a direct violation of the regulatory Forest and Range Practices Act.”
Logging destroys habitats, World Animal Foundation.
“Forests are vital for the health and well-being of humans, wildlife, and the Earth. They provide habitat for about two-thirds of all land-dwelling animals and plants. Around the world, these critical ecosystems are being ripped apart… In the United States, 90 percent of continental indigenous forests have been removed.”
Genetically Engineered Trees in Canada, Watershed Sentinel, August 11, 2012.
“Surfing the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) website, it is disconcerting to find evidence that the federal agency entrusted with the safe keeping of our nation’s forests has become an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of genetically engineered trees.”
2017/18-2019/20 Service Plan, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
“Operating on a provincial land base of over 94 million hectares, the Ministry ensures the sustainable management of forest, wildlife, and other land-based resources, supports activities that provide benefits for all British Columbians both economically and environmentally, and facilitates safe public access to a wide range of recreational activities such as hunting, fishing and access to British Columbia’s wilderness and backcountry.”
Visual Quality on Alberni Inlet, Forest Practices Board, September 2016.
“In 2015, Forest Practices Board staff investigated logging on a prominent landform in Port Alberni that appeared to exceed government’s visual quality objective (VQO) for the area. The investigation found the licensee failed to achieve the required VQO and government decided not to take enforcement action. These are important scenic viewscapes clearly visible to the public that government has determined are significant for tourism and public recreation values.”
Forest Ethics. Peeling Back the Eco-labels: A Comparison of FSC and SFI Forest Certification Program Audits in Canada
“The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) are the two most prominent forest certification systems in Canada. Both have reassuring, forest-friendly names and logos, and consumers are likely to assume that they represent comparable standards in forest management. But how do these systems actually compare with respect to forestry standards and auditing processes? This report compares the forest management audits that are at the core of the forest certification process and forest certification systems’ value and credibility.”
Logging proposal gets frosty response in Ymir, The Nelson Daily, May 14 2017
“Residents of Ymir say they’re alarmed by plans of BC Timber Sales to allow logging in their community watershed. They’re concerned that their tiny community water system could be damaged by forestry operations in the area. “It’s our only source of drinking, consumable and firefighting water,” says Jay Leus, a resident of Ymir who opposes the idea of logging the area. “It could very well put us into a water crisis, as our community watershed is incredibly small.”
SCRD to forward comments on BCTS, Coast Reporter, June 4, 2017
“The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has already sent comments to BCTS outlining the board’s opposition to logging a cutblock known as A91376 located on District Lot 1313 in Elphinstone, which is seen as a potential park. The board also said it doesn’t support logging in community watersheds or logging within the 1,500-hectare zone identified in the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan as an area that should be protected.”
Court action against ELF continues, Coast Reporter, June 29, 2017
“A court action is still pending more than a year after members of Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) established a camp on Mount Elphinstone in an effort to stop BC Timber Sales (BCTS) from auctioning the cutblock known as A87125. The protests escalated and the company that won the right to log the area, Peninsula Logging, filed a notice of civil claim in August 2016 and an application for an injunction against demonstrators interfering with the logging, which has now been completed. Several people were arrested for defying that court order.”
Takla taking on BC Timber Sales over logging license, Prince George Citizen, October 14, 2016
“The Takla First Nation is taking B.C. Timber Sales to court, alleging the band was not property consulted before it gave a Vanderhoof-based logging contractor the go-ahead to carry out operations on its traditional territory.”
Comment: We have a chance for better forest management, Times Colonist, July 11, 2017
“In the past few decades, the mismanagement of coastal forests has led to the loss of dozens of mills and thousands of community-supporting forestry jobs. Rural communities have been left behind, and Indigenous nations haven’t received fair benefits from the forests in their territories. Meanwhile, a handful of corporations continue to profit while employing fewer and fewer people and damaging ecosystems up and down the coast.”
BC’s wildlife policy skirts issue of habitat loss due to logging, The Globe and Mail, November 22, 2015
“The plan outlines how the forest industry will be subsidized to go after pockets of old trees “that are uneconomic to harvest” because they are sparsely scattered or are at high elevation. Some of the costs would be recovered through timber sales, but it is a money-losing proposition. In year four, for example, the province will spend $25-million to get timber worth $6-million.”
Heartwood: A West Coast Forestry Documentree
Heartwood is a multi-platform documentary series that explores the wild west of industrial forestry, old-growth logging, the ancient forest movement and the fight for sustainable forestry in British Columbia. This series reveals the cultural and ecological impacts of industrial logging on the coastal landscape – as well as innovative communities that are attempting to cultivate sustainable forestry operations, healthy forests and resilient economies for generations to come.
Comox residents fear return of mysterious plume of sediment in their drinking water, February 2, 2015 | Last Updated: April 5, 2016
“Shapley contends that slides that deposited sediment into a creek may have been caused by the cumulative impacts of a century of timber harvesting, even when the loggers are observing best forest management practices.”
Whoa, Neighbour: How privately managed forest land owners broke the social contract, Silviculture Magazine, Summer 2013
“In a universe parallel to the one Rod Bealing describes in “Public Attention for Private Forests” (Silviculture Magazine, Spring 2013), the communities adjacent to lands regulated by the Private Managed Forest Land Act aren’t hearing “Howdy, neighbour.” They’re hearing, “Please look the other way while we rip the heart out of your tourism industry, ruin your drinking watershed, close down opportunities for permanent forest jobs, deliver the final blow to declining fish runs, convert forest land into real estate developments and intensify the impacts that climate change will have on your lives. We’re allowed. It’s private land.”
Drinking water wins in Jefferd Creek logging battle, West Coast Environmental Law Blog, April 9, 2012
“In 2004 the residents of the tiny community of Stillwater, near Powell River, learned that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) was planning to auction off the rights to clearcut 12.5 hectares in the Jefferd Creek watershed, which is the source of their drinking water. Well, it’s been a long fight, but after 8 years and a series of grants to the Committee for the Protection of Jefferd Creek from West Coast’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund, BCTS has agreed to scale its proposed 12.5 hectare cut down to 1.5 hectares – located well away from the Creek – because of concerns about the drinking water impacts.”
Turbidity revives old debate, Straight, November 22, 2006
“Will Koop said he saw “thick brown” water in Sisters Creek (above) during a November 21 visit to the watershed.Environmental activist Will Koop has claimed that he found two major sources for the turbidity of Greater Vancouver’s water supply. Both sites were in an area that had previously been logged near the Capilano reservoir, which recently recorded turbidity levels 70 times higher than what’s considered acceptable under B.C.’s drinking-water regulations.”
The Big Lie: Logging and Forest Fires, Earth island Journal, Spring 2000 issue
“It seems every time you turn around these days, there’s some timber industry flack screaming about the need to increase deforestation on our national forests–ostensibly to reduce the threat of catastrophic fires. The fact is, commercial logging doesn’t prevent catastrophic fires; it causes them. In the latter part of the 19th century, this was common knowledge. Relentless clearing of forests in the Great Lakes region left huge areas largely devoid of the cooling shade of trees, replacing moist natural forest microclimates with the hotter, drier conditions characterized by stump fields. Flammable logging “slash debris” covered the landscape.”
“No” is an acceptable answer: Sturdy urges open dialogue on forestry, Bowen Island Undercurrent, July 12, 2017
“West Vancouver Sea-to-Sky MLA and provincial Environment Minister Jordan Sturdy says news of potential logging on Bowen Island was brought to his attention several days ago by concerned constituents. He says that Bowen Island is likely one of many places across the province that has received a request for consultation on current Forest Stewardship Plans (FSP), and he is urging islanders to be open to dialogue.”
Logging interest prompts swift reaction; BCTS rejects requests to extend public comment period, Bowen Island Undercurrent, July 12, 2019
“Over the weekend, Bowen Islanders learned that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) in Chilliwack, BC has access to parcels of Crown Land on the island and is interested in engaging the municipality on opportunities to harvest trees on that land. Council chambers overflowed on Monday evening with citizens eager to speak their mind and hear what council had to say on this issue. By Tuesday, Islanders were already organizing to oppose the plan.”
Public Timber Auctions: The BC Timber Sales Approach, May 24, 2012
BCTS is responsible for planning, development (e.g., primary road and bridge construction), auction, administration and reforestation activities. This presentation overviews the timber auction process.
Fraser TSA Timber Supply Analysis Discussion Paper, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, March 2015
“Key ministry responses relating to the provincial timber supply review program include: Review marginally economic forest types within each TSA and quantify the types and areas of forest that might be justifiably included in a partition within the timber harvesting land base, while respecting resource objectives for other values, such as wildlife and water.”
Natural Capital Accounts, Forestry Commission England, 2015/16
“The Natural Capital Account provides a structured and transparent way of quantifying the full value of the services provided by the natural assets … The account reflects both value to the organisation (private value) and wider society (external value), providing a broader perspective compared to financial reporting.”
Logging violations in Port Alberni Scenic area, CBC News, October 1, 2016
“An investigation launched by B.C.’s Forest Practices Boardfound a scenic mountainside on the Port Alberni Inlet was over-logged — twice — according to provincial ‘visual quality’ standards, and the ministry of forests was warned of the violations, but failed to act.”
Government failing to crack down on suspect logging practices, CBC News, March 29, 2017.
“Over the last two years, investigations have found multiple logging operations failing to adhere to provincial standards, like the one on this Port Alberni mountainside.”
Exploring How and Why Trees Talk to Each Other, Yale Environment 360, September 1, 2016.
“Two decades ago, while researching her doctoral thesis, ecologist Suzanne Simard discovered that trees communicate their needs and send each other nutrients via a network of latticed fungi buried in the soil — in other words, she found, they “talk” to each other. Now she’s warning that threats like clear-cutting and climate change could disrupt these critical networks.”
Policies work against sound forest management, Vancouver Sun, July 31, 2017.
“Unfortunately, there is disturbing evidence that fundamentally important decisions are being made by public servants in Victoria that work against the sound management of local forests, and that may be positioning rural communities for unnecessary hardship in the years ahead.”
Sustainable Forest Management in Canada, Natural Resources Canada.
“An extensive framework of federal, provincial and territorial laws, regulations and policies enforces and guides sustainable forest management practices in Canada. These are important tools given that 94% of the country’s forests are on public land – owned and managed by the provincial, territorial and federal governments.”
Audit Process and Woodlot Trends, Forest Practices Board, Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations Conference, September 30,2016.
“As a licensee, you are taking on the responsibility of properly managing a public asset, according to the laws of the Province. Do the right things on the ground and you will have no concerns when you get that call informing you that your license has been selected for a Board audit.”
Islanders fight Gambier logging plans, Coast Reporter, April 18, 2014
“Gambier Island residents and local governments in Howe Sound are trying to put the brakes on plans that would see an estimated 25 per cent of the island logged out. As bids closed last week for two woodlots on the northeast part of the island, the Gambier Island local trust committee called on the province to either cancel the planned woodlots or, at the very least, reduce them in size. “With these new leases, 25 per cent of Gambier Island will be under active logging and this does not include private cutting,” committee chair David Graham wrote Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, on April 9.”
Questions from the Gambier Island Conservancy, July 2013.
Q: “How does the Ministry calculate the overall impact of logging on a closed system such as an island?”
A: “Gambier Island is part of the Sunshine Coast Timber Supply Area and is available for timber harvesting consistent with the Official Community Plan and Land Use Bylaw. Assessments of impacts are considered at the cut block road construction stage and must be consistent with the approved Woodlot Licence Plan.”
Forestry managers have no power to stop damaging logging: watchdog. The Forest Practices Board says district managers need the authority to withhold cutting permits if they pose hazards. Business Vancouver. December 15, 2015.
“District managers used to have some discretion to ensure that forestry companies with harvesting licences were conducting forestry and road building operations that met government expectations. But they lost that authority in 2004 when the B.C. government scrapped the Forest Practices Code – considered overly bureaucratic – for the Forest and Ranges Practices Act. District managers are the ministry’s eyes and ears on the ground. They issue cutting permits, but as long as the permits meet three main objectives, they have no choice but to issue them, even when they have concerns about the licence holder’s plans, or when concerns are brought to their attention by the public.”
BC Provincial Crown Land
“94% of land British Columbia in is “Provincial Crown Land” – land owned by the province. In addition, the beds of lakes and rivers, as well as areas of sea-bed falling within inlets or bays, are owned by the provincial government.”
British Columbia Land Act
“The Land Act is the main legislation governing the disposition of provincial Crown (i.e. public) land in British Columbia. Crown land is any land owned by the Province, including land that is covered by water, such as the foreshore and the beds of lakes, rivers and streams.”
BC Forest Practices Review Board
“We serve the public interest as the independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices in British Columbia. We report to the public and government about compliance with the Forest & Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act and the achievement of their intent.”
BC Timber Sales
“BC Timber Sales (BCTS) was founded in 2003 with a mandate to provide the cost and price benchmarks for timber harvested from public land in British Columbia. Through 12 Business Areas and an operational presence in 33 locations, BCTS manages some 20 percent of the provincial Crown allowable annual cut.”
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; Administrative Guide to Forest Stewardship Plans
“The Administrative Guide for FSPs (AGFSP) is designed as a tool to help promote consistent preparation, review and approval/rejection of FSPs.”
BC’s New Forest and Range Practices Framework FRPA Training Companion Guide: Forestry Modules, February 2004
This companion guide is part of the training program supporting the implementation of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). This document serves as reference material for the forestry training modules—focusing on the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation (FPPR) and legal requirements for government, major tenure holders, the BCTS program and professionals.
Ministry of Health Interim Response to Ombudsman Recommendation #2 Interim Best Practices on Requests for Investigation of a Drinking Water Threat under the Drinking Water Protection Act
“Purpose: Under section 29 of the Drinking Water Protection Act, if a person considers that there is a threat to their drinking water, the person may request the drinking water officer to investigate the matter. This document is a draft addendum proposed for the Drinking Water Officer Guide (DWOG), outlining best practices in such investigations.”
Memorandum Of Understanding Regarding Inter-Agency Accountability And Coordination On Drinking Water Protection, Version 7, October 16 2006
“In March, 2002 the Province adopted an Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water in British Columbia which sets out a multi-faceted and multi-agency approach to the protection of public health as it relates to drinking water quality. The Action Plan sets out government’s commitment to an integrated approach for drinking water protection. The ADMs’ Committee on Water and the Directors’ Inter-Ministry Committee on Drinking Water are the facilitating bodies for the Action Plan.”
Auditing BC Timber Sales
“A significant portion of the provincial timber harvest is carried out by the holders of timber sales licences under a program called BC Timber Sales (BCTS), formerly known as the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program. The management, organization and practices of BCTS differ significantly from other forest tenures. The Forest Practices Board therefore must adapt its standard audit approach to reflect these differences. This policy describes how Board audits are structured for BCTS.”
Elphinstone Logging Focus
Protecting Key Forests and Habitat to Conserve Ecosystems, Support Recreation, Tourism and Community Enjoyment
Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory, Technical Report, January, 2014
A Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory (SEI) was conducted over the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) and Abbotsford region from January 2010 – May 2012. A GIS database was produced, following a provincial inventory standard.