[Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1993/94 Table of Contents]
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:
- Vote 40 - Minister’s Office (no program reports)
- Vote 41 - Ministry Operations
- Vote 42 - Fire Suppression Program
- Statutory special accounts for:
Forest Stand Management Fund (no program reports)
Small Business Forest Enterprise Program
South Moresby Implementation – Forest Replacement Account
South Moresby Implementation – Forest Compensation Account
Build BC (Forest Worker Development Program)
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.
- Forest Stand Management Fund: This account was originally established as a fund by the Forest Stand Management Fund Act in 1986, and was changed to a special account under the Special Accounts Appropriation & Control Act, 1988. Revenue is provided by contributions from municipalities, the forest industry, forest sector unions, and others. Expenditures provide for enhanced management of British Columbia’s forest and range lands, and for related projects. No financing transactions are provided for under this special account. In 1993/94, $150,000 was allocated.
- Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP): This program, funded by a special account, was established by an amendment to the Forest Act in 1988. In 1993/94, $92.0 million was allocated. Actual expenditures were $83.0 million. (Table K-1)
- South Moresby Implementation (Forest Replacement and Compensation): These accounts were established by the South Moresby Implementation Account Act in 1988. In 1993/94, $2.1 million was allocated to Forest Replacement (Table 2). Actual expenditures were $1.6 million for Forest Replacement, and $2.3 million for Forestry Compensation. (Table L-1)
- Build BC (Forest Worker Development Program): This special account was created by the Build BC Act, 1993. The purpose of the account is to provide for projects and initiatives to facilitate the expansion and diversification of the B.C. economy in a manner consistent with the Act. In 1993/94, the Ministry of Forests was successful in proposing that the Forest Worker Development Program and partial silviculture and road maintenance expenditures for the SBFEP be funded from the account. Allocations were $26.6 million for the Forest Worker Development Program, and $17.0 million for the SBFEP, for a total of $43.6 million.
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:
- ensuring, through the implementation of employment equity, that no individual is denied employment or advancement opportunities for reasons unrelated to their ability to do the job
- effectively managing the ministry’s human, financial, information, and physical resources by providing direction, and by coordinating the ministry’s management services (see below)
- providing administrative support services for all resource programs delivered through ministry offices province-wide
- facilitating the application of government management policies and practices in the field
- funding grants to foster forestry research and the promotion of prudent forest management.
Public Affairs staff coordinate the communication of information on the ministry’s mandate, goals, organization, policies, programs, products, services and achievements to:
- financial services, to provide policy direction and financial planning, budgeting, analysis, accounting and reporting services to achieve the highest standards of financial management in the delivery of all ministry programs
- information systems, to support all ministry staff in their use of computerized information to administer the harvest and manage the forest, and to introduce innovations that allow staff to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively
- human resources, to provide services through staff planning and development, recruitment and selection, training, occupational health and safety, labor relations, employment equity, and organization, compensation and classification initiatives that are consistent with the Public Service Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Public Service Act Directive on Employment Equity
- technical and administrative services, to provide a comprehensive range of technical and specialized administrative services for the effective management of the ministry’s facilities, vehicles, equipment, assets, radio communication systems, and administrative functions
- audit services, to independently examine all management, operational and financial activities in the ministry, and to recommend improvements, as well as to advise on management and administrative practices
- the information and privacy section, to promote the ministry’s commitment to implementing the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act through training, and to maintain that commitment by delivering advice and assistance to clients, and by coordinating formal requests for information.
- the public, including:
- organized groups and associations
- the news media
- the forest industry
- other government agencies
- universities, colleges and schools.
During 1993/94, staff:
Other program staff accomplishments included:
- improved the ministry’s expenditure and revenue system and reporting
- started an employment system review in conjunction with the ministry employment equity initiatives
- created a Professional Credentials Task Force to determine if the use of credentials was a systemic barrier
- developed a curriculum-based training program for ministry financial staff
- expanded the use of local-office bank accounts to improve the speed of payments to suppliers and employees
- developed a new vote structure for the ministry’s 1994/95 Estimates presentation to the Legislature, to improve public accountability
- in information systems, implemented the first phase of the Integrated Silviculture Information System (ISIS), a large-scale computer application designed to improve the management of silviculture.
- providing administrative support for the operation of six regional and 43 district offices responsible for the delivery of all ministry programs
- extending grants to:
- the Festival of Forest Society
- the B.C. Forest Museum
- the Debris Control Board.
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.
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:
- issue timber harvesting licences and represent the ministry in agreements with the forest industry
- issue cutting authorities
- price timber and bill for Crown charges
- monitor timber transport and timber measurement (e.g., cruising, scaling, residue and waste)
- oversee the engineering, building and maintenance of forest roads and bridges by district staff
- acquire property for forest management purposes.
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.
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:
- constructed 647.7 kilometres of new Forest Service roads, which increased the provincial total to 38,320 kilometres (Table C-9)
- improved, upgraded and maintained 8,931.2 kilometres of roads (Table C-10)
- increased the number of bridges and major culverts – an integral part of the ministry’s road network – to 3,797, up from 3,691 in 1992/93
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.
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 $1.6 billion.
Under this program, ministry staff provide technical advice and scientific knowledge to help guide forestry policy, resolve forestry issues, and create a sound ecological basis for resource management.
Research staff focus on applied research in environmental and biological sciences, and on communicating results to clients – including the public, the forest resources sector, and other government departments. Cooperative projects with other research agencies throughout the province continued through 1993/94.
The program includes silviculture research for forest renewal and timber production, as well as research on sustainable and integrated resource management. The latter emphasizes ecosystems and the effects of resource management. It also includes developing ways to better integrate human activities with ecological processes and wildlife species.
During 1993/94, research staff:
- continued research on seedling physiology, nursery culture, and technique and planting stock quality to provide British Columbia nurseries and silviculturists with information for planning and delivery of planting programs
- initiated studies of the seed production of western larch in the wild, to increase understanding of reproductive processes in partially cut stands
- investigated landscape-level genetic diversity as affected by tree improvement and silvicultural practices
- initiated experiments in northern British Columbia to identify factors contributing to winter injury of planted spruce seedlings
- improved estimates of aspen growth and yield by ecological site unit in the Fort Nelson, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek forest districts
- initiated field trials on techniques for reforesting marginal agricultural lands with hardwoods
- initiated an analysis of the genetic variation of western hemlock wood fibre traits that affect pulp and paper products
- upgraded the SYLVER system of models (TASS, BUCK, SAWSIM, GRADE, FAN$Y) to simulate the impact of commercial thinning on the financial return of coastal Douglas-fir
- developed and distributed Fred’s Forest, an educational game for school children derived from SYLVER. A professional version with enhanced financial capabilities, called SYLVERsmith, was tested at the Silviculture Institute of B.C.
- implemented a Biosolids Forest Fertilization Project in conjunction with the Squamish Forest District, the University of British Columbia, the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, as an alternative method for disposing of sewage effluent
- continued studies on the structure and dynamics of mixed-species forests in several biogeoclimatic zones to determine how complex stands grow
- developed a wildlife tree production and decay model compatible with existing growth and yield forecasts, to assist in evaluating wildlife habitat for different silvicultural options.
Integrated resource management research
During 1993/94, research staff:
- initiated research on the distribution of commercially valuable wild mushrooms, and the impact of forest practices and mushroom harvest methods on the sustainable production of mushrooms
- developed decision-support models for evaluating land-use options in the Cariboo, which provided direct support (e.g., Conservation Gap Analysis) to CORE planning processes in the Cariboo Forest Region
- initiated a research program on the effect of forest practices on soil organisms, including fungi that form beneficial associations with tree roots, and soil fauna responsible for organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling and forest productivity
- developed field guides for managing biodiversity
- studied Interior bird communities and their importance to grassland ecosystems. This information is incorporated into the Forest Practices Code, and will help refine future biodiversity guidelines.
- expanded the long-term soil productivity study to include aspen ecosystems in the boreal forest
- continued work on a preliminary landslide warning system for unstable terrain
- revised procedures for assessing site sensitivity to soil-degrading processes
- assessed habitat requirements of mountain caribou and grizzly bear in southeastern British Columbia, and of marbled murrelet on the Sunshine Coast
- investigated the effects of alternative silvicultural systems (e.g., partial cutting) on wildife communities in the Prince Rupert, Cariboo, Kamloops and Nelson forest regions.
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
- published Plants of Coastal British Columbia, a field guide to the common plants of the coastal region
- participated in the production and release of soil conservation guidelines and training for timber harvesting and mechanical site preparation on Interior sites
- participated in key aspects of drafting, reviewing and coordinating delivery of the Forest Practices Code
- held a Fisheries-Forestry Interaction Project (FFIP) workshop in Prince George
- led two workshops on forest vegetation management, and the ecology and management of B.C. hardwoods
- helped develop a soil-disturbance survey course for audit foresters and forestry consultants engaged in surveys.
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.
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.
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.