Nearly 20 years of public concerns and complaints about forestry and range practices on B.C.’s Crown land are summarized in a new report released by the Forest Practices Board today.
“Complaints and concerns provide a barometer of public acceptance of forest and range management, identifying trends and issues that the board will sometimes examine in more detail,” said board chair, Tim Ryan. “They provide a measure of how well B.C.’s forest and range lands are being managed and how much confidence the public has in industry and government practices.”
Since 1995, the board has responded to over 1,100 concerns and 300 complaints, leading to 181 formal recommendations for improvement to forest and range planning, practices and public consultation.
Topics most commonly complained about are conservation of forest values such as water, soundness of forest planning and practices and adequacy of both public involvement processes and government enforcement of the law. Complaints have come from many sources including individuals, water users, environmental and community groups, First Nations, trappers, ranchers and recreationists.
The report findings show that in 70% of cases, provincial legislation is appropriately followed but there is usually room for improvement, particularly when it comes to communication between those carrying out forest and range practices and those affected by them.
The board was created in 1995 to ensure industry follows provincial forest and range legislation and government adequately enforces it.
The board can investigate public complaints and make recommendations for improvement, but it also tries to help resolve issues and improve resource stewardship whenever possible.
All complaint investigations are available on the board’s website, along with this latest report: www.fpb.gov.bc.ca