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Oversight in BC Forest Practices SISCO Winter Workshop February 26, 2014 Mark Haddock.

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Presentation on theme: "Oversight in BC Forest Practices SISCO Winter Workshop February 26, 2014 Mark Haddock."— Presentation transcript:

1 Oversight in BC Forest Practices SISCO Winter Workshop February 26, 2014 Mark Haddock

2 My Lens Structure of FRPA regime Public interest Non-timber values

3 What is Oversight? “Watchful care or management; supervision” OR “Unintentional failure to notice or consider” Oversight is not just a post-logging issue: it needs to be embedded in forest management planning

4 Who Provides Oversight? Forest & other professionals Other rights holders Interested members of public Government agencies Watchdog (Forest Practices Board) Tribunal (Forest Appeals Commission) Professional Associations Courts (rare)

5 What Does Oversight Require? 1.Clear management objectives 2.Measurable and verifiable management commitments 3.Meaningful content in forest stewardship plans that are readily accessible 4.Decision-making authority by accountable person 5.Actual field observation and verification 6.Compliance and enforcement 7.Dispute resolution 8.Checks & Balances

6 Why is Oversight Inadequate? 1.Unclear management objectives 2.Vague management commitments to legal minimums 3.Lack of meaningful content in forest stewardship plans 4.Lack of reasonable test for FSP decision-making & no approval for site plans 5.Lack of resources & support for reasonable level of field observation and verification 6.Compliance and enforcement difficult due to problems above. 7.No dispute resolution mechanism for those affected by logging 8.Very limited checks & balances (and lack of public standing)

7 Management objectives Land Use Plan objectives are highly variable (and many are outdated now and government does not support) Forest Planning & Practices Regulation objectives are vague and timber-biased: – 9.1 The objective set by government for wildlife and biodiversity at the stand level is, without unduly reducing the supply of timber from British Columbia's forests, to retain wildlife trees. Section 7 & Government Actions Regulation orders are more specific, but are driven by AAC-impact limits without assessment of environmental outcomes or results

8 /LRMP/status_LUP_map_ pdf Land Use Plan Status 8 Prepared by the

9 Need for decision-making authority Oversight must include the ability of statutory decision-makers to exercise professional judgment: S.16(1) The minister must approve a forest stewardship plan or an amendment to a forest stewardship plan if it conforms to section 5 “Since we lost stewardship…” Complete lack of oversight for site level planning

10 Babine Lake example FSP: Babine FP argued: “unless the DDM found that the intended result is not consistent to the extent practicable he had no discretion to refuse the proposed amendment” Babine Lake, BC parks photo

11 Field Inspections ,154 inspections 59% were of major licensees Led to 810 compliance actions Woodlots – 4% of total inspections, leading to 66 compliance actions ,117 inspections 20% were of major licensees Led to 174 compliance actions Woodlots – 5% of total inspections, leading to 185 compliance actions

12 Public Participation Rio Declaration, Article 10 (1992) European Union Aarhus Convention British Columbia Forest Practices Code Forest and Range Practices Act

13 The FRPA Model Clear, Legally Binding Objectives Tough Enforcement Forest Stewardship Plans

14 Checks & Balances Administrative Review Procedure (for licensee or person affected only) Forest Practices Board Forest Appeals Commission (no public standing)

15 Professional Reliance or Industry Reliance? Does oversight fall to the ABCFP, APEGBC or CAB-BC? Should it? Professional Codes of Ethics are no substitute for the oversight requirements in Slide 5 Professional organizations: – have a duty to protect the public from incompetent or dishonest practitioners – do not police the discretionary fine points of resource management and weighting of societal values Associations could do more to provide practice directives FPB Bulletin: “Reliance on professionals does not supplant the responsibility of government to ensure objectives are clear and practices are in the public interest. A higher level of transparency by professionals, licensees and government is required…”

16 Comments Received Cumulative effects of multiple resource industries “largely unknown and unmanaged” (FPB, 2013). Failure to address issues like road density, important for some species Reduced maintenance on roads and bridges (FPB, 2013) Loss of biodiversity; inadequate oversight (Auditor General, 2013). Lots of BEC late seral gaps & loss of best recruitment options. Reforestation needs could exceed efforts by > 1M hectares (FPB, 2012) Old Growth Management Areas – inadequate identification, protection and monitoring (FPB, 2012).

17 Comments Received Inventory investment inadequate (down to $8M from $15) and 70% of land base not inventoried since 1990 (ABCFP, 2011) Inventory unreliable – gov’t database poorly managed, high levels of non-compliance, incorrect reporting (FPB, 2011) Tree planter safety conditions poor and not enforced: (BC Forest Safety Ombudsman, 2011) Timber supply modeling & AAC losing credibility. Waste levels high with “take or pay”

18 Okanagan What about the Chief Forester’s “Guidance” for stand level retention?

19 From The Tyee, Jan.24, 2014 Ecosystem Based Management on the Coast: Old growth target seemed clear & measurable, but…. When is a grove of 600 to 800-year-old Douglas Fir trees not an old growth forest?

20 Near 70 Mile

21 Is it Time for Adaptive Management Yet?


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