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Legislation overhauls forest management

Forest Act amendments introduced by the B.C. government are aimed at improving forest management.


February 22, 2013
By The Vancouver Sun

The legislation proposes to add a new section to the Forest Act that will allow conversion of volume-based forest licences to area-based tree-farm licences in some cases, according to The Vancouver Sun.

The new law is based on recommendations in a 2012 report by the legislature’s special committee on timber supply. The committee held hearings and took submissions from First Nations, communities, industry officials and the public.

Volume-based tenures allow licensees to harvest a certain amount of timber within a specified timber supply area, allowing several licensees to operate in the same area. Area-based tenures grant a licensee virtually exclusive rights to harvest timber within a specified area.

According to the ministry, area-based tenures create an incentive for licence holders to improve forest management and to make infrastructure investments to improve timber supply.

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“This would improve the stewardship of the timber supply,” said Forests Minister Steve Thomson in a conference call with reporters. “It’s clear this (conversion of a licence) would require a public process, ensuring full consultation.”

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