Keith Atkinson named new chair of B.C. Forest Practices Board
February 27, 2023 By CFI Staff
The Forest Practices Board has announced that Keith Atkinson has been appointed as chair of the independent forest auditing and investigating body for a three-year term, effective March 1, 2023.
Atkinson, a registered professional forester with more than 35 years of forestry experience, will lead B.C.’s independent watchdog for good forest and range practices. The Forest Practices Board conducts audits and investigations, and issues public reports on how well industry and government are meeting the intent of B.C.’s forest practices legislation.
The role of the Forest Practices Board is a key part of transitioning to a sustainable forestry sector. Although other jurisdictions have forest watchdog bodies, British Columbia may be the only one with an arm’s-length relationship with government, and a mandate to hold both government and the forest industry publicly accountable for forestry practices.
“The Forest Practices Board is an important part of the management of sustainable forest practices, including compliance with forest regulation and legislation, which supports healthy forest ecosystems,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “Mr. Atkinson has proven leadership in the forestry community and will be a valuable asset to the board, bringing with him years of forestry leadership.”
Serving for 10 years as the chief executive officer of the First Nations Forestry Council, Atkinson worked to create opportunities for First Nations in forestry. Atkinson has also held positions as the forest resources manager at the Nisga’a Lisims Government and has been a trustee for the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
Following a period as interim chair, Bruce Larson of Squamish will reprise his role as vice-chair for a one-year term. Additionally, current board members Cindy Stern of Parksville, Gail Wallin of Williams Lake and Rick Monchak of Campbell River were reappointed for three-year terms.
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