Forest Stewardship


Forest Stewardship is the management of Crown (public) forest land on behalf of the people of British Columbia.  This requires balancing the many resources and values of public forests.  These resources include, but are not limited to; timber, water, wildlife, fisheries, recreation, botanical forest products, forage and biodiversity.  The Forest Stewardship section of the South Island Forest District (SIFD) works in co-operation with forest companies and other government agencies to ensure that provincial government’s objectives for the management, protection and conservation of forest resources are met.

Two categories of management units are used in the Province to manage Crown forest land.  These are tree farm licenses (TFL) and timber supply areas (TSA).  Tree farm licenses may include some private forest land and are managed by a single forest company who holds the license.  Whereas several forest companies and British Columbia Timber Sales Program may operate within a timber supply area.

The forest company who holds a tree farm license (TFL) is required to prepare and submit a management plan which includes a timber supply analysis.  The Forest Stewardship section reviews and comments on these plans and assists the Forest Analysis Branch with recommendations to the Deputy Chief Forester when the allowable annual cut (AAC) determination is made.

 The allowable annual cut (AAC) is the amount of timber (number of trees) that the Chief Forester, or in the case of tree farm licenses, the Deputy Chief Forester, determines can be harvested from the management unit each year.  As part of this determination the Chief Forester must consider a number of factors and follows a set of guiding principles that encourage a sustainable rate of harvest be reached as soon as possible with a minimal social and economic impact.

Changes to forestry legislation will bring about the creation of Defined Forest Area Management (DFAM) agreements.  DFAMs will be made up of a co-operative of forest companies who have timber harvesting interests within a timber supply area. The companies within DFAM will work together to develop a timber supply analysis that will assist the Chief Forester in making the allowable annual cut (AAC) determination.  The Forest Stewardship section will review the timber supply analysis and make recommendations to the Chief Forester regarding the allowable annual cut (AAC) calculation.

Whenever a management plan and timber supply analysis are put forward for consideration, local first nations groups are consulted.  The forest companies primarily carry out this consultation. The Forest Stewardship section oversees this consultation to ensure that the first nation consultation obligations have been met.

In addition the Forest Stewardship section reviews proposals from the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP) and the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM) for the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity.  Whenever other government agencies such as; Lands and Water BC, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and local governments wish to make plans or propose projects designed to carry out their respective mandates referrals are sent to the Ministry of Forests.  The Forest Stewardship section reviews these proposals to ensure that no conflicts occur with Ministry of Forests objectives.

The Forest Stewardship section’s primary focus is on forest management at the strategic level.  One such strategic level plan is the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan.  This plan was approved by the provincial government in 1995 and contains broad higher level objectives for the management of forest resources.  This higher level plan also designated several new parks and special management areas that are intended to ensure the protection and conservation of non-timber forest resources.

If you would like to know more about the role of the Forest Stewardship section in the South Island Forest District you can contact us at: 250-731-3000 or by e-mail at: