[Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1993/94 Table of Contents]

PROGRAM REPORTS

Introduction

This section of the annual report contains the Ministry of Forests’ program and sub-program reports. To ease comparative reading, these reports follow the order of the government’s Estimates for the 1993/94 fiscal year, which were:

As shown in the table opposite, the 1993/94 ministry programs are reported in the order of their funding votes. Please note that this order is substantially different from the “Organization by Reporting Function” ministry schematic shown on pages 18 and 19.

Special accounts


[Reporting function]

Management Services

Program

Staff in this program promote and direct the effective and efficient delivery of management services for the ministry’s resource programs, and ensure that statutory requirements are met. The program also funds grants to various forestry agencies.

Under this program, ministry staff goals include:

In meeting their objectives, Management Services staff serve the needs of the public, other ministry personnel, the provincial government’s central agencies, the forest and ranching industries, and agencies involved in forestry research and the promotion of forest management. Management Services staff work in: Public Affairs staff coordinate the communication of information on the ministry’s mandate, goals, organization, policies, programs, products, services and achievements to:

1993/94 Progress

During 1993/94, staff: Other program staff accomplishments included:

Forecasts

Significant investments have been made to improve the ministry’s revenue collection policies and systems. The benefits of those investments are now being realized as the ministry moves from developing to implementing the initiatives.

In 1993/94 the ministry continued its commitment to recruit and train highly qualified staff.


[Reporting function]

Harvesting

Program

This program’s main goal is to make timber available to the forest industry at approved rates of harvest. The program staff work to meet both the requirements of sustainable development and the government’s management objectives for other resource and land-use values.

To serve their clients and accomplish their goals, Harvesting staff:

1993/94 Progress

Timber harvesting licences and agreements

In 1993/94, approximately 2,780 timber harvesting licences and agreements were in place, including 1,370 that were issued under the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program. (Table C-7)

The volume of all products billed on all Crown lands was 69.8 million cubic metres, compared to 72.2 million cubic metres in 1992/93. (Table C-3)

The volume of all products billed on all tenures where harvest rates are regulated – excluding timber licences, licences to cut, and rights of way – was 66.2 million cubic metres, down from 69.4 million cubic metres in 1992/93. This compares with an allowable annual cut for these tenures, as of March 31, 1994, of 70.4 million cubic metres.

Issuing cutting authorities

Although a forest company might hold a timber harvesting licence or agreement, harvesting cannot proceed until a series of harvesting plans that accommodate resources other than timber are approved, and until cutting authority is received from the ministry.

Approximately 1,990 new cutting authorities were issued in 1993/94 (excluding those issued under the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program). This was an increase of nearly 490 from 1992/93.

The ministry also issues timber marks that authorize the removal of timber from private land. During the 1993/94 fiscal year, 6,816 timber marks were issued, and 7.9 million cubic metres of timber were harvested from private land. These figures represent increases over 1992/93: up from 3,200 timber marks and 6.4 million cubic metres, respectively.

Pricing timber and billing for Crown charges

All timber harvested from Crown land is subject to royalty or stumpage charges at the time of harvest.

Approximately 8 per cent of the annual harvest is subject to royalty rates, which are set by regulation. The price for the majority of Crown timber is subject to stumpage rates, most of which are determined by formulas based on site-specific timber values.

Timber harvested from Crown and private land is scaled, and this information is recorded on scale returns. Scale volumes, applicable stumpage charges, and other prices are used to calculate Crown forest revenue, and to produce scale and royalty invoices. More than 101,080 invoices were prepared in 1993/94, representing an increase of 9,080 over 1992/93.

In 1993/94, stumpage and royalty charges accounted for $707.5 million (excluding the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program), or 69.0 per cent of the ministry’s total revenues of $1.0 billion. (Table 1) By comparison, 1992/93 stumpage and royalty charges accounted for $497.4 million, or 69.9 per cent of the ministry’s total revenues of $711.2 million.

Monitoring timber transportation and scaling

Ministry staff monitor timber transportation from cutblocks to more than 800 approved scale sites, to ensure that all harvested timber is scaled. Ministry check scalers monitor timber scaling to ensure that all harvested timber is accurately scaled. There were more than 9,600 check scales in 1993/94, up from 9,200 the year before.

Engineering

Forest Service roads serve the public, the forest industry, small business, tourism, mining, the petroleum industry, and other interests by providing access to provincial forest and range lands. They are major public assets.

Responding to the needs of these groups in 1993/94, engineering staff:

Engineering expenditures in 1993/94 were $36.2 million, up from $29.4 million the year before. (Tables C-9, C-10 and C-11)

Acquiring property for forest management purposes

The ministry acquires property for Forest Service road rights-of-way and other purposes. During 1993/94, rights-of-way were acquired for 24 Forest Service road projects, at a cost of $594,000, involving 57 private properties.

During 1993/94, leases were acquired for Silviculture and Protection requirements at an annual rental cost of $637,000.

Forecasts

Harvest volumes for the 1994/95 fiscal year are expected to be similar to those of 1993/94, due to the strong markets for lumber, pulp and paper products.

Program staff will construct approximately 1,000 kilometres of new Forest Service roads, and replace or build some 200 bridges and major culverts.

Revenues for 1994/95 are budgeted at $1.6 billion.


[Reporting function]

Research

Program

Under this program, ministry staff provide technical advice and scientific knowledge to help guide forestry policy, resolve forestry issues, and create a sound ecological basis for resource management.

Research staff focus on applied research in environmental and biological sciences, and on communicating results to clients – including the public, the forest resources sector, and other government departments. Cooperative projects with other research agencies throughout the province continued through 1993/94.

The program includes silviculture research for forest renewal and timber production, as well as research on sustainable and integrated resource management. The latter emphasizes ecosystems and the effects of resource management. It also includes developing ways to better integrate human activities with ecological processes and wildlife species.

1993/94 Progress

Silviculture research

During 1993/94, research staff:

Integrated resource management research

During 1993/94, research staff:

Research extension

Communicating technical information to clients about ecosystems and resource management begins with the individual researchers. All ministry research scientists are available for client consultation and professional advice.

In addition, researchers and extension specialists develop field guides, resource materials and training courses, and they participate in school and continuing education programs throughout the province.

During 1993/94, staff also:

Technical and administration support

Technical and administrative support for Research Program scientists was provided by a staff of specialists, including statisticians, secretarial staff, technicians, computer specialists, analytical laboratory staff, and graphic designers.

Results

With more scientific knowledge to guide seed, nursery and plantation operations, the effectiveness of reforestation has been increased. A better understanding of crop-tree responses to silvicultural practices has improved forest growth and yield predictions for planning.

Research into sustaining and integrating resources provided practical solutions to resource conflicts. The result was better forest management.

Forecasts

Today, more than ever before, a strong commitment to research – and its effective application to resource management – is of enormous importance in the stewardship of B.C.’s forests. The Research Program directly supports the new Forest Practices Code by establishing environmentally sound forest practices aimed at maintaining and integrating wood supply, biodiversity and other critical values. Because of an as-yet imperfect knowledge of ecological systems, the Code will be revised and modified as new research findings become available.

Research staff will continue to emphasize the basic and applied research of ecosystems, and their responses to human activities, in conjunction with studies of integrated resource management. Research and extension ventures will continue to require collaboration with other research agencies, and will be integrated with new research initiatives under the Forest Renewal Plan.


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