A two-month, provincewide consultation on the idea of converting volume-based to area-based forest tenures officially closed May 30, 2014, generating feedback from more than 4,300.
Government is not considering conversions on a provincewide basis, but rather as one “tool in the toolbox” that may help with mid-term timber supply issues in parts of the Interior that have been impacted by the mountain pine beetle.
During the two-month consultation period, veteran professional forester Jim Snetsinger travelled throughout the province, collecting feedback and ideas from stakeholder groups, First Nations and members of the general public. He presided over 97 meetings in nine different locations: Smithers, Burns Lake, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Prince George, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Vancouver.
More than 8,650 visits to the website were recorded, and over 4,300 inputs were received from a variety of sources, including email, blog comments, tweets and comment ratings. The discussion paper was downloaded 771 times, and the average website visit lasted just over 10 minutes. While 179 comments were generated on the blog, many visitors took the time to read and rate online comments, with over 1,008 ratings.
While comments are no longer being accepted, the area-based tenures discussion paper, background materials and questions-and-answers are still accessible at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/foresttenures
Snetsinger will spend the next few weeks compiling the feedback into a report with recommendations to be submitted to Forests, Lands and
Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson no later than June 30, 2014.