The Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2017, following the enactment of regulations that bring the act into force and fulfill government’s commitment to ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest.
- bring into force the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act effective Jan. 1, 2017;
- create eight new special forest management areas totalling 263,612 hectares;
- replace and reconfigure timber supply areas to align with the Great Bear Rainforest’s geographic boundaries;
- set the allowable annual cut for the entire Great Bear Rainforest to 2.5 million cubic metres per year for the next 10 years; and
- provide the new allowable annual cut for each of the forest licences affected by the legislation.
The Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order was finalized in February 2016, and the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act received Royal Assent in May 2016. The regulations announced today bring the act into effect and meet government’s commitment to full implementation of ecosystem-based management in the area.
Special forest management areas are areas where commercial timber harvesting is not allowed. The new special forest management areas are Braden (34,541 hectares), Broughton (1,447 hectares), Gil Island (23,295 hectares), Green (27,319 hectares), Kimsquit (104,317 hectares), Kitsault (63,131 hectares), King Island (9,241 hectares) and Thurlow (321 hectares).
Under the regulations, the North Coast, Mid-Coast, Kingcome and Strathcona timber supply areas are replaced by the new and reconfigured Great Bear Rainforest North, Great Bear Rainforest South and North Island timber supply areas. The changes were necessary so that these timber supply areas align with the boundaries of the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Great Bear Rainforest covers 6.4 million hectares on British Columbia’s north and central coast, and is home to 26 separate First Nations. One-third of the 6.4-million-hectare area is fully protected, while the remainder allows low-impact resource development activities, such as forestry, tourism and hydro-electric generation to support the people living in the area.
Agreements were reached between the Province of B.C., Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council for management of the area, based on recommendations submitted by three environmental groups (Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC and Stand) and five forest companies (BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper, Howe Sound Pulp & Paper, Interfor and Western Forest Products).
Earlier this fall, the Great Bear Rainforest was endorsed as a forest conservation project under the prestigious Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative. As a lasting legacy, the Province is creating the $1-million Great Bear Rainforest Education and Awareness Trust. Funds will support the development of teacher and student resources, raising public awareness of this unique area, resource management practices and ongoing research.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“One of our achievements of 2016 was the finalization of the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order, and the introduction and Royal Assent of the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act. Today’s regulations enact key elements of the Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act, such as the setting of a maximum allowable annual cut and legal designation of the eight new special forest management areas.”
Learn more about the Great Bear Rainforest and buy a commemorative poster:
Great Bear Rainforest (Forest Management) Act and regulations (after Jan. 1):
Four backgrounders on the new timber supply areas and licence information follow.
Map the Great Bear Rainforest with the new timber supply areas: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/GBR_SFMAs_newTSAs_Map.pdf