Former Clearwater resident Kevin Kriese is now the chair of B.C.’s Forest Practices Board. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo)

Kamloops LRMP stands the test of time

The work Kriese did while in the region is still an important standard in land use planning.

A man with connections to the North Thompson Valley has gone on to take important jobs at the provincial level and is now the chair of B.C.’s Forest Practices Board. The work he did while here, while it has been updated, is still an important standard in land use planning.

Kevin Kriese grew up in Kelowna and Salmon Arm but liked to spend his summers visiting Clearwater to stay with his grandparents, Herman and Elsie Kriese. Herman worked for many years as a millwright at Clearwater Timber Products’ Camp Two sawmill.

“Clearwater was a great place to visit as a teenager,” he recalled. “You could hang out at the river and get into trouble.” After he graduated from high school he studied forestry and, in particular, integrated resource management.

It was a time of controversy in the woods, he recalled. One of the controversies in the early 1990s was a proposal by Weyerhaeuser to log in people’s watersheds in the East Blackpool area.

“That was the job that brought me to Clearwater,” he said. Much of the area of contention is now part of Wells Gray Community Forest but back then it took a good deal of discussion to develop an integrated management plan that everyone could live with.

His next project was coordinating the Land Resource Management Plan (LRMP) for the Kamloops Timber Supply Area (what were then the Clearwater and Kamloops forest districts and now largely contained in the Thompson Forest District).

His supervisor at the time, Max Tanner, expected they would need three workshops to develop the plan.

In fact, the process took about 50 meetings and more than three years.

“We hadn’t done anything like it before,” explained Kriese.

He said that one of the bigger debates in the lower North Thompson was trying to figure out protected areas with so many cattle tenures.

“A major part of the solution was to allow grazing to continue and that opened up room to protect places like Skull Mountain and Lac Du Bois,” he said. “Those low elevation forests and grasslands are some of the most ecologically diverse ecosystems in the region and so protecting some of them was a major accomplishment.”

The plan went into effect in 1995 and, while it has been amended since then, is still the primary document used in land use planning for the region.

After the LRMP was finalized Kriese went to Smithers to take up a new position.

“It was hard to leave Clearwater but Smithers is a pretty great town too,” he said. He gradually worked his way up the forest ministry’s bureaucracy until he spent eight years as assistant deputy minister.

Two years ago he became chair of the Forest Practices Board of B.C.

“It’s a super cool job,” he said.

“Working for the ministry was fantastic and I have deep respect for the people who work there. However, there is a lot of pressure to deliver and not a lot of time to think. Here at the board we have more time to examine the processes more deeply. I really enjoy that.”

He still lives in Smithers but occasionally makes the trip back to Clearwater.

“It’s one of the places that we really enjoy visiting,” he said.

“I have a lot of respect for Kevin Kriese,” commented Carman Smith, former woods manager with Gilbert Smith Forest Products in Barriere.

He felt that having someone with experience in the forest industry and with connections to the North Thompson Valley is one reason why the Kamloops LRMP has stood the test of time.

“I think Kevin did a good job and we were lucky to have him in the North Thompson. He was able to solve a lot of problems through interacting with people. He got along with the operators and he got along with the opposition – the greens,” Smith said.

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


Former Clearwater resident Kevin Kriese is now the chair of B.C.’s Forest Practices Board. (Jo-Ann Richards photo)

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

No new COVID-19 cases for the first time in weeks: Interior Health

Hospitalization also down to zero across the region

Chase RCMP seek information for decade-long missing person investigation

Shayne Murray Robinson’s truck was found abandoned by the Barriere RCMP detachment in 2010

Clearwater and Barriere welcome new reverend

Clearwater and Barriere have a new reverend, Bruce Chalmers, who will do… Continue reading

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read