Forest Policy

UBCM advocates for greater community consultation and engagement in forest policy decision-making. However, local government engagement on forestry files has not been consistent, and in some cases UBCM has had to be quite vocal to ensure local government interests are being heard. As the Province and First Nations implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) and move toward a co-governance model of decision-making, forest policy as well as all land and resource matters have become more challenging to navigate.

Old Growth Strategic Review

The Province is in the process of implementing the 14 recommendations within the Old Growth Strategic Review. UBCM continues to seek additional information on recommendations 13 and 14, which focus on transition planning at the provincial and local levels, and transition support for communities.

  1. Once developed, implement the new policies and strategies for the management of old forests through mandatory provincial and local transition plans that define, schedule and monitor the process.
  2. Support forest sector workers and communities as they adapt to changes resulting from a new forest management system.

Additional information on the Old Growth Strategic Review:

Conservation financing mechanism

In October 2023 the Province announced the establishment of a new Conservation Financing Mechanism (CFM) to support protection or conservation of BC’s old forests. The new $300 million CFM is comprised of a $150 million contribution from the Province, matched by a commitment by the BC Parks Foundation to raise another $150 million from the general public, philanthropic, and conservation organizations.

Protection of overall ecosystem health and biodiversity is in keeping with the Old Growth Strategic Review recommendations. Funds will be allocated to support old growth forest protection and conservation efforts, with oversight by a committee comprising 50% First Nations, and management by the BC Parks Foundation.

UBCM questions about the new CFM include:

  • What is the mechanism for consultation and engagement with impacted communities or local governments regarding program eligibility criteria, e.g. location, types of conservation measures?
  • What is the funding allocation framework?
  • Who are the eligible recipients?
  • What will be the impact of eligible conservation measures on present allowable land uses within a designated area?

Value-added accelerators

In a move from high volume to high-value production, the Province has established Value-added Accelerators to grow value-added manufacturing in BC. The Accelerator partners are bringing together licensees, value-added wood manufacturers, First Nations, and the Province at three regional ‘tables’ in the North, South, and Coast, guided by a provincial steering committee.

UBCM members have long supported a stronger value-added sector recognizing the increased manufacturing and economic development benefits for BC communities.