Forest Survey Results Confirm Need for Better Consultation

Results from UBCM’s forestry survey found that 85% of respondents felt that they are not adequately consulted or engaged when tenure holders make forestry decisions that will impact their communities. 

Members will recall that UBCM’s Community Economic Development Committee launched its forestry survey on December 16, 2015.  The purpose of the survey was to inform the Committee about existing communication and consultation practices between forest tenure holders and local governments, and the impact of forestry decisions upon communities.

The survey results are outlined in UBCM’s report Forest Policy Decision-Making: The Case for Greater Community Consultation and Engagement. What was learned was not surprising. In fact it confirms what our members and other organizations have been saying for years; communities need to be consulted and engaged in forest policy decision-making. A lack of community engagement and consultation has led to varied and significant consequences.

The report’s findings reiterate a call for change in how forestry decisions are made.  Local governments can be key partners in the dialogue to ensure that forestry decisions are made in a manner that: considers the communities interests, identifies environmental impacts, and other potential consequences that may result due to conflicting land uses and strategies within a specified area. 

The report and survey results have been shared with the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and with the members of the Ministers Advisory Council on Forests and Range Practices (PAC).  It is our hope that this report will inform future deliberations around forest policy decision-making.

UBCM wishes to thank Councillor Brian Frenkel, Vice Chair of UBCM’s Community Economic Development Committee who serves as UBCM’s PAC representative.  He has provided guidance and support as we undertook this research.  Special thanks as well to those members who completed the survey; your feedback has been invaluable in undertaking this policy work.

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