The B.C. government has launched a public discussion around forest license conversions

The B.C. government has launched a public discussion around forest license conversions

Government invites discussion on forest license conversions

Whether or not volume-based licenses should be converted into expanded area-based tree farm licenses is the question posed by government.

Whether or not volume-based licenses should be converted into expanded area-based tree farm licenses is the question government is posing to the residents of B.C.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson has invited input until May 30.

“This public consultation process has come about because of the recommendations from the Special Mid-Term Timber Supply Committee,” Thomson told reporters during a media conference in Victoria Tuesday.

The committee recommended “increasing the diversity of area-based tenures using the established criteria for conversion” and a “walk before you run approach,” Thomson said, adding the government will look at regions of the province individually and will only move ahead if there is a strong case to do so.

When asked how area-based tenures would impact independent loggers, Thomson told the Tribune/Advisor the government is not expecting any changes.

“Again, impact on other tenure holders and other operators are all things that will need to be considered through the application and evaluation process,” Thomson said.

Former provincial chief forester Jim Snetsinger is leading the consultation and will visit several communities, including Williams Lake, to meet with stakeholders.

He will be asking what benefits the public thinks should be sought from forest licensees wanting to convert to area-based tree farm licenses and what criteria should be used to evaluate applications.

Former Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson criticized the consultation process suggesting it is an attempt  to justify what the government attempted to do before the 2013 election, which is to rollover the replaceable forest licenses of the few remaining major forest companies to tree farm licenses.

“The people of B.C. rejected this attempt at rollover in 2013 and, as a result, the government promised more open consultation on the relative merits of area-based tenures and the range of mechanisms to move away from volume-based harvesting to area-based management,” Simpson told the Tribune/Advisor.

Simpson suggested the government’s proposal will result in more corporate concentration and control of B.C.’s public forests at the expense of smaller industry players, the contracting community, and communities, and new entrants to the forest sector. People must pay very close attention to this attempt to increase corporate control and participate as fully as they will be allowed in order to have their voices heard, he continued.

“The timeframe and form of the so-called consultation process is extremely limited given the seriousness of the proposed policy changes and the long term implications of creating more TFLs.”

Yet Simpson is not opposed to more area-based management of B.C.’s public forests.

“In fact, given the most recent reports from the Forest Practices Board we need to quickly move away from the current volume-based approach to accessing timber,” he said. “TFLs are only one means to achieve area-based management and one that favours corporate control over community or First Nations’ control of our public forests.”



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

International Women’s Day is March 8. (
International Women’s Day 2021: #choosetochallenge

International Women’s Day is marked annually on March 8

Businesses in Williams Lake are invited to participate in a new sticker program that will help make their venues more accessible. (Williams Lake Accessibility Advisory Committee image)
‘Come On In’: New program aims to make Williams Lake businesses more accessible

Williams Lake Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) is leading the project

Celebrate women in leadership, March 8, International Women’s Day 2021 (Unsplash)
EDITORIAL: International Women’s Day 2021 shines spotlight on achievements, ongoing inequities

COVID-19 increased gender-based violence, economic stress, the burden of care giving for women

Amarjit Khakh of Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Kindness and giving, key to full life

Sierra William (left) with her grandmother Eileen William. (Roger William photo)

Xeni Gwet’in woman finds strength in tradition

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Most Read