Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

Changes to forest and range legislation improve transparency

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Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

Changes to forest and range legislation improve transparency

Media Contacts
Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
250 356-7506
Media Contacts
Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
250 356-7506

Backgrounders

Spring 2019 amendments to the Forest and Range Practices Act

Creating more frequent and reliable opportunities for input

  • Changes will create additional opportunities for public review and comment on operational plans by requiring replacement of forest stewardship plans every five years and woodlot licence plans every 10 years. Currently, a licensee can extend a forest stewardship plan for five additional years without requiring public review and comment.
  • A forest stewardship plan is the document that forest agreement holders must prepare and have approved by government before harvesting or road building activities can begin. It contains a high-level description of potential forest development activities and standards that may take place in the plan area. 

Improving information sharing in forest planning

  • Changes will improve licensee information sharing by requiring a forest operations map that includes the approximate locations of proposed cutblocks and roads. This map is to be made publicly available and will be subject to review and comment by interested parties, including First Nations and other tenured resource users. A forest operations map must be published, and review and comment must be completed before a licensee can apply for cutting or roads permits.
  • This is a new requirement to ensure those potentially affected know where roadbuilding and logging will occur.

Enhancing stewardship of resource values

  • Amendments will expand the definition of wildlife in the act to align with the definition under the Wildlife Act and allow for the protection of ecological communities. Currently, only animals are identified. Changes will ensure that the Forest and Range Practices Act and regulations regime uses consistent terminology for “at-risk” species (endangered, threatened, special concern).

Improve and streamline range-use planning

  • Amendments will improve and streamline range-use planning by eliminating the range stewardship plan and by enabling a range-use plan to be managed through an online platform.
  • The term of a range-use plan will be aligned with that of the range agreement to improve administrative efficiency.
  • Currently, range-use plans are for a term of five years, with a possible extension of five years. Range agreements are in the form of a licence for 15 to 25 years, or a permit for one to 10 years.

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