Western Forestry Contractors’ Association Rumour Mill RoundUpDate Volume 17, Issue 20

October 13, 2017
Vol. 17, Issue 20

Warning: This fact warning may have appeared in previous editions and is repeated here for clarification purposes.

WFCA Business & Market Summit Proceedings
Now Posted on WFCA Website

One of our best attended Business and Market Summits yet

Our regular readers will know we covered some of this in our last RoundUpDate. But we were unable then to post the detailed figures presented at the 2017 Business and Market Summit. They are worth looking at; now posted at wfca.ca here. The scope and consequences of this year’s 1.2 million hectares worth of wild fire damage is just beginning to sink in e.g, 700,000 hectares in the THLB; 100,000 hectares of obligation plantations lost etc. And these are just the initial estimates. We have yet to get well inside the perimeters of the fires to compare fire severity (anecdotal reports from fly-overs are grim) and forestcover mapping to see what we really have to deal with for reforestation. And it is not looking like a very pretty picture particularly in the Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile House TSAs on the timber supply side either.

Government Releases Terms of Reference for
Professional Reliance Review

At the beginning of this month our provincial government officially announced its review of the professional reliance model “to ensure the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource management in B.C.” Upholding the public interest and rebuilding trust are the political themes running through this review that both the BC NDP and the BC Green Party had campaigned on in the last election. The details of the undertaking, expected to conclude next spring, are now available in its terms of reference just recently released by the Ministry of Environment here. As one of the five professional associations falling within the review’s terms the Association of BC Forest Professionals says it is looking forward to participating and identifying “opportunities to strengthen and continually improve the model.” At the same time the ABCFP pointed out that professional reliance “is just one piece of a larger system and its effectiveness is intrinsically linked to other components of B.C.’s forest management model.” This is a significant point. It is not just the disposition of qualified professionals (QPs) and their association that need examination. The practical circumstances in which they operate need to be looked at as well. The review’s purposes seem to have captured that by including the “conditions governing the involvement of QPs in government resource management decisions…” as one of its areas of focus. Professional reliance works in complex relationships beyond just the actions of individual professionals and the oversight of their associations. And how accountability and responsibility plays out in this context does need to be sorted.

WFCA Executive Meets With New Forest Minister

Minister Donald was presented with our official decal and bumpersticker for this year’s 8th Billionth Seedling Milestone

The Honourable Doug Donald Minister of Forests Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has an interest in reforestation that goes beyond the vast ambit of the Cabinet portfolio he now holds. A former forestry consultant himself, Minister Donald pointed out to the WFCA executives who met with him recently in Vancouver, one of his last activities in the field as a forester was beetle-probing. Those credentials give him a personal interest in reforestation he said. With that as an immediate advantage, the meeting, which was intended primarily as a get-to-know-each-other session, went well. For our part we described the constituency the WFCA represented and our interest and capacity not only in implementing our government’s forestry goals, but in providing policy advice and ideas in dealing with some of the current restoration work needed in the context of climate change, the beetle plague and this year’s wildfires. The Minister stressed the importance of working with First Nations and asked about our capacity to grow and plant increasing numbers of seedlings. We stated that our sector was working well already with MFLNRORD and that integrated planning and communication going forward would make it possible for the sector to deliver on our government’s forest restoration goals. We asked the minister to support this ongoing collaboration between the WFCA and his Ministry staff.