|Volume 1 - Resource Management
Chapter 10 - Forest Health
Policy 10.1 - Forest Health
Effective Date: 15-Feb-97
This policy describes guidelines for forest health programs.
Effective forest management techniques will be used where warranted to prevent or reduce damage to forest and range resources from insects, diseases, or other harmful agents (Ministry of Forests Act, s.4(b); and Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, s. 106(1) & (2)).
Forest Health Concerns
The incidence of damage to forest and range resources will be evaluated individually. Necessary action will be taken in conjunction with the appropriate branches, ministries, and other agencies.
Causal agents may include:
Forest Health Methods
Action taken for forest health management will be based on evaluations of damage, potential damage, causal agent, feasibility and cost of treatment, and other factors. Integrated resource management, which takes all resource values into account, will be the most important consideration when deciding what action to take. The following factors must be considered in the decision:
Forest health management techniques and strategies must have as little negative social or environmental impact as possible, and be effective and beneficial. Guidelines will be provided to assist licensee and Ministry staff in assessing the risk of infestation or damage (as required for pre-harvest silvicultural prescriptions, or by the Operational Planning Regulation, s. 37 (1) (d), 41, Part 6), and to prescribe appropriate treatments.
Cooperation with other Agencies
In cooperation with various agencies, the Ministry will develop forest health management techniques and strategies, and will ensure that they are used effectively.
The development of forest health management agreements with other government agencies, industrial interests, and private individuals is encouraged (Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, s. 170).
The Ministry will cooperate with or support other agencies, such as Forestry Canada, academic institutions, industries, and others, that conduct forest health detection, damage appraisal, or research programs.
Advice and assistance on forest health management will be offered to all persons requesting assistance.
Surveys and Appraisals
Surveys, which map or record causal agent populations, the degree of infestation, and damage, must be conducted at regular intervals. Surveys will be coordinated and integrated with Ministry field operations. New or unusual infestations must be reported promptly and confirmed by identification specialists (Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, s. 17(3); Silviculture Practices Regulation, Part 3, Division 5; Operational Planning Regulation, s. 13, 37 (1) (d), Part 6).
Also, damage appraisals must be carried out to determine the ecological, economic, and social impacts of infestations which are under consideration for treatment.
Records must be maintained of causal agents, their activity, and damage caused, as well as of the methods used in forest health treatments and their results. A shared, corporate data base and information system will be developed or supported in cooperation with other branches and agencies.
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