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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default Proposed changes in logging in BC

Can anyone in the industry shed some light on this?

There is a public consultation deadline on may 31st.

Edit: this is an article from Wildsight.

>>>>>

Help stop the privatization of British Columbia's forests
The provincial government is recommending changes to how logging takes place in British Columbia. These changes will further remove the responsibility for forest management from elected representatives and hand over long-term rights to the land to corporations.
The current practice of allocating companies a volume of wood to be cut (Volume Based Tenures) is to be replaced with Tree Farm Licenses that would give companies' long-term rights to manage the land for forestry.
Please take action and tell the BC government that our forests are for British Columbia not corporations. This is your opportunity to stand up for the future of our forests and the health of our communities.
Our forests are in trouble, but the current proposal does not address the root cause of the problem: we have been logging our forests at an unsustainable rate. We need to broaden the discussion and engage British Columbians in a real discussion on the long-term health of forests and forest communities. We must reduce the Annual Allowable Cut (the amount of wood harvested each year) to sustainable harvest rates not hand over our forests to profit-maximizing corporations.
The current proposal does not meet the government's objective of improved forest management. The Forest Practices Board, the independent watchdog for sound forest practices in British Columbia, says changes will not help, but will hinder the ability of government to manage the long-term sustainability of our forests.
It is critically important that British Columbians demonstrate that we care about our forests and do not want them to be further controlled by private companies. The government's proposal is a simplistic response to timber supply shortfalls and unsustainable harvest rates and fails to recognize that the health of our forests is a priority for the long term health of our communities.
Please speak up for our forests and tell the BC government that forests are for more than cutting!
Thank you for taking the time to speak up! The deadline for comment is May 31.
John Bergenske,
Executive Director

The provincial government is recommending changes to how logging takes place in British Columbia. These changes will further remove the responsibility for forest management from elected representatives and hand over long-term rights to the land to corporations.

The current practice of allocating companies a volume of wood to be cut (Volume Based Tenures) is to be replaced with Tree Farm Licenses that would give companies' long-term rights to manage the land for forestry.

Please take action and tell the BC government that our forests are for British Columbia not corporations. This is your opportunity to stand up for the future of our forests and the health of our communities.

Our forests are in trouble, but the current proposal does not address the root cause of the problem: we have been logging our forests at an unsustainable rate. We need to broaden the discussion and engage British Columbians in a real discussion on the long-term health of forests and forest communities. We must reduce the Annual Allowable Cut (the amount of wood harvested each year) to sustainable harvest rates not hand over our forests to profit-maximizing corporations.

The current proposal does not meet the government's objective of improved forest management. The Forest Practices Board, the independent watchdog for sound forest practices in British Columbia, says changes will not help, but will hinder the ability of government to manage the long-term sustainability of our forests.

It is critically important that British Columbians demonstrate that we care about our forests and do not want them to be further controlled by private companies. The government's proposal is a simplistic response to timber supply shortfalls and unsustainable harvest rates and fails to recognize that the health of our forests is a priority for the long term health of our communities.

Please speak up for our forests and tell the BC government that forests are for more than cutting!

Thank you for taking the time to speak up! The deadline for comment is May 31.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 08:50 PM
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That's a bunch of total bullshit is what that is.

Quote:
quote:The provincial government is recommending changes to how logging takes place in British Columbia. These changes will further remove the responsibility for forest management from elected representatives and hand over long-term rights to the land to corporations.
The current practice of allocating companies a volume of wood to be cut (Volume Based Tenures) is to be replaced with Tree Farm Licenses that would give companies' long-term rights to manage the land for forestry.
Volume Based Tenures are a bad experiment. They have been in place for about 8? years and they have proved to be a total disaster. So we are returning to area based tenures.

Volume Based means gold rush. There is no stewardship because there are no tenure areas. Companies fight to log the best wood. If Company A wishes to do the right thing and not log a stand of Big Trees, there is no guarantee that Company B won't drop in and scoop them and log it to the ground.

Volume Based means waste of time. Three companies might lay out the same patch of wood and fight each other to get the rights to log it.

Nobody does any more than the legislated minimum of stewardship under a volume based system because any work you do in improving the existing timber (like pruning and spacing juvenile stands) will likely benefit your competitors instead of you. It's like if I pay to fix up my beater house and then you could come in and sell it and get the profit instead of me.

So basically volume based is a big fucking mistake and it's long past time that we went back to area based tenures, which worked well in this province for a long, long time.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 09:10 PM
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Area based tenures are better, but what truly needs to happen is that old growth blocks of forest of a certain age need to be restricted from logging within said tenures. In other words, no more logging mature forest
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well that was quick! Thanks for clarifying things Dru.

I was suspicious of the articles I've read since there is very little about the actual impact of the proposed changes, or what they would entail. Just "oppose this or 10x more greenhouse gases will be released and 3 kittens will die each time a tree is cut" type of talk.

I also remember seeing tree farm license boundaries on Canadian topo maps from the 70s so the area-based tenure thing is obviously nothing new. That had me confused as well.

It's unfortunate that environmental groups lose credibility with this sort of thing.

B
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 10:38 PM
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What Mick said.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 12:22 AM
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It might be useful, for anyone interested in the subject, to actually read the Ministry of Forests (MFLNRO) discussion pages on the subject. This recent and specific interest in conversion of volume based tenure to area based tenure is intended to address the impending decline in timber supply resulting from the mountain pine beetle epidemic in the interior.

http://engage.gov.bc.ca/foresttenures/

This discussion vis-a-vis tenure reform has been going on since the first royal commission on forest resources in 1910, the Fulton commission (which led to BC's first Forest Act of 1912). The point of an area based tenure is to generate a more intensive form of forest management by restricting the tenure holder to a specific area-defined land base. In return, the licensee has a form of exclusive access to that land base and should, theoretically, be the recipient of whatever increase in yield arises from intensive silvicultural practices on that land base.

In principle it makes sense. The public grants 'private-like' access to the land base, without actually disposing of its precious forest land and at the same time gets itself off the hook for the complex and costly burden of managing our forests intensively. This gives government and citizenry lots of warm, fuzzy feelings as it suggests an intimacy of forest management, at minimal cost, will be our windfall. Nonsense.

After many years of involvement in the industry, i'm not convinced that TFL's actually generate the polly-anna, meritorious results so many think they do. In part this is because forest management is a massive investment, with an exceedingly long time frame until a return is generated on that investment.

Furthermore, in practice most of BC's TFL's (Tree farm licences) are so large an area that they resemble smaller TSA's (Timber Supply Areas) and will yield an intensity and distribution of harvesting that looks not much different from a TSA, which is what pisses everyone off, often irrationally, but it still pisses them off. Curiously, the small TFL's such as the Mission tree farm and the Witherby Tree Farm (on the lower Sunshine Coast) produce results much more akin to what we'd like to see ie. forests harvested, managed and regenerated on a smaller, intimate scale http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Wright-rec...ion/B000FZEESY

If we want truly intensive, intimate forest management then there are other choices; On the one hand we could actually sell crown forest land to private interests and see the kinds of generally good results garnered on the vast numbers of private forests in the USA. Alternatively, the province could scrap the whole buggered up tenure system and actually have the balls to manage our forests well and good. In this case, all timber supply would be allocated by competitive bid with revenue from timber sales used first for forest management and then for general revenue. Not only would that yield abundant cash for good management, but we would also see truly market driven prices for our precious timber resources.

Alas, the citizenry will never give up on this duplicitous notion that it can 'own the land, but get someone else to look after it'. We can't even maintain a forest service adequate to ensure compliance with licencee obligations. Likewise, licensees will fight to the death to keep their 'quotas', which is a slang term for a volume based licence. I can't blame them as they often paid good money for them and they sure as hell won't pay for forest land when they already paid millions for quotas.

It's a fascinating subject, with real consequences, but nothing is likely to change. A least not in our lifetimes.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by gyppo

Well that was quick! Thanks for clarifying things Dru.

I was suspicious of the articles I've read since there is very little about the actual impact of the proposed changes, or what they would entail. Just "oppose this or 10x more greenhouse gases will be released and 3 kittens will die each time a tree is cut" type of talk.

I also remember seeing tree farm license boundaries on Canadian topo maps from the 70s so the area-based tenure thing is obviously nothing new. That had me confused as well.

It's unfortunate that environmental groups lose credibility with this sort of thing.

B
Did they ever have any? I have yet to see a single group that had objections based on hard science. "teh global warminz" and dead kittens seem to be the norm for every one of these groups. Fear mongering with baseless statements like "The Future of Our Forests is At Risk" and "Your wilderness could be zoned industrial" that lack any truth.

I find the best approach is to assume that they are wrong, that you are being lied to, and to read the technical documents that have been prepared on any of these subjects.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Farmer

I find the best approach is to assume that they are wrong, that you are being lied to, and to read the technical documents that have been prepared on any of these subjects.
Funny that's the same approach I take toward oil companies and large foreign owned resource extraction corporations....
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Farmer

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by gyppo

Well that was quick! Thanks for clarifying things Dru.

It's unfortunate that environmental groups lose credibility with this sort of thing.

B
I find the best approach is to assume that they are wrong, that you are being lied to, and to read the technical documents that have been prepared on any of these subjects.
yup, that's a good, sensible approach and exactly what the environmental movement would encourage you NOT to do. I've actually found industry to be more forthcoming about these matters.

So, again, for anyone interested got here http://engage.gov.bc.ca/foresttenures/ to follow professional forester, Jim Snetsinger's blog as he travels the province eliciting input from anyone interested.

Forest tenure and policy are detailed, complex subjects which are often distilled by the likes of wildsight into soundbites for digestion by an ignorant fan base.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 10:20 AM
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As others have partially explained, the proposed legislation DOES NOT change HOW logging takes place. It might only change WHO does the logging.

But it probably does not even do this. In most parts of the province, timber supply areas have already been sorted out into operating areas, where a forest licensee with its volume based tenure has more or less exclusive rights to operate--it's a de-facto TFL. Here in the Okanagan, Tolko has their operating areas, BCTS has theirs, Gorman's, Westbank First Nation and so on. Yes it's only a gentleman's agreement, but it is honoured by all, and each licensee guards their territory pretty closely from any "intrusion".

Going to a TFL system would only formalize what is already in place. And, with the legalized security of area, it should (at least this has been the theory since TFLs were first created 68 years ago) lead to more investment in practices that increase forest productivity.

Bottom line--nothing really changes.

P.S. Since the land remains Crown land, there is no "Privatization".

Dru, volume based tenures have been in place for 50+ years, ever since TSHLs (Timber Sale Harvesting Licences--now called Forest Licenses) were created.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 01:03 PM
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quote:Originally posted by pmjwright

As others have partially explained, the proposed legislation DOES NOT change HOW logging takes place. It might only change WHO does the logging.

But it probably does not even do this.

Bottom line--nothing really changes.
Precisely.

Indeed, if we were to have meaningful tenure reform the entire conversation needs to be reset. IMHO the 'prime directive' must focus on what is best for the land base, and that is a large, complex question.

Government's strong motivation is maximization of economic rent (ie, tenure constrains supply, albeit for biological reasons, but yields rent in the form of stumpage). Industry functions to extract top shareholder value from forest output. Labour unions seek to maximize high-wages from forest land and environmental groups seek preservation, sometimes sensibly but often to a level of gluttony.

The hapless citizenry, who own the forest land base, are the real offenders in this hodge-podge. They play a suckers game, seeking maximum wealth from the resource for the past 100 years, while divesting themselves of the obligations to manage the land. In the end, the land base is always giving, rarely getting back.

As you rightly said, Bottom line--nothing really changes.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 02:02 PM
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This is what Wildsight hopes you sign:


Dear Mr. Snetsinger and Minister Thomson,
Cc: Norm Macdonald, Forestry Critic

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the future of British Columbia's forests and the proposed Area-Based Tenures.

Our forests are in trouble and they need our help. Before any changes are made to the forest tenure system, I ask you to engage the public in discussions on the management and future of our forests, and make changes to forest tenures only after public hearings and demonstrable public support.

I do not believe that converting tenures to Tree Farm Licenses is the right path forward – it would open the doors to corporate control of British Columbia's forests. Please address the root of the problem – reduce the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) to a level that will maintain healthy ecosystems and sustain communities over time. The current harvest rate is unsustainable for British Columbia's forests.

Government oversight and monitoring efforts must continue and increase to ensure the health and sustainability of our forests for all interests and values, not just corporate interests.

For our forests, please address the root cause of our troubled forests - do not convert tenures to Tree Farm Licenses.

Sincerely,


From the sounds of what people have been saying on this post, neither the present nor the previous system is sustainable. So, the petition is timely, the public and politicians should be engaged more in finding the 'right solution'. I wonder how forests are managed in places like Switzerland....we probably don't have to reinvent the wheel ... but that's probably not what this government or industry wants.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 02:05 PM
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Dru, volume based tenures have been in place for 50+ years, ever since TSHLs (Timber Sale Harvesting Licences--now called Forest Licenses) were created.
there were a few, and they were phased out because they didn't work from a stewardship perspective. it was get in, get as much as possible as quickly as possible and get out.

about 8 years ago the province decided to completely get rid of area based tenures and it resulted in a major gong show. I don't know as much about the Interior, but in, for instance, the Chilliwack Forest District, the District Manager had to get all of the forest licensees with cut in the district into his office, and tell them to unofficially forget the volume based stuff and just stick to their historic operating tenure areas, because the level of bullshit was off the scale and it destroyed any ability to have long-range planning and stewardship over the land base.

guys with axes ripping down each others ribbons in the woods and fighting to be the first to log some stand of timber is not a good situation in any way, shape or form.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 03:10 PM
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+1 Dru

Nice to have a concise response from those who have the credibility of actual time spent examining both sides of an issue objectively.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru

Quote:
quote:

Dru, volume based tenures have been in place for 50+ years, ever since TSHLs (Timber Sale Harvesting Licences--now called Forest Licenses) were created.
there were a few, and they were phased out because they didn't work from a stewardship perspective. it was get in, get as much as possible as quickly as possible and get out.
No, this is not right. The total AAC of TFL's in BC is about 12 million m3/yr while total AAC inside TSA's (FL's) is about 65 million m3/yr. Volume based AAC has been larger than area-based AAC for a long, long time and here's how it came about....

From the 1860's under the colonial government until around 1920, after the fulton commission, BC's forests were harvested under what we call a system of small OTT's (Old Temp Tenures) which were consolidated under the forest act of 1979 into Timber Licences (TL's). These were not area based tenures but rather had specific areas where one could harvest. The AAC's of the areas didn't matter a damn, you logged where the you wanted up to the boundaries of the area and there were no management requirements. What a deal! From about 1915 there were non-replaceable TSL's designed for small, gyppo loggers as well and eventually some non-replaceable FL's showed up in the mix.

The first major area-based tenures evolved in the 1940's following Sloan commission I and they were called Forest Management Licences (FML's). Their express purpose was to afford the developing sawmill sector a stable timber supply. They were large, with AAC's calculated on the back of paper napkins but were replaced in the late 50's by TFL's, with much more involved management plans required.

After the Pearse commission in 1979 FL's replaced TSHL's which had been in place since the early 1960's following the Sloan II Commission. These were and always have been volume based tenures. From the early 60's it was major, integrated industry that had TFL's while smaller independent quotas holders, sometimes with sawmills had TSHL's and FL's. Many FL's (quotas) have been bought out by major companies and today the AAC, both area and volume-based, is concentrated in fewer hands than ever before.



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