[Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1993/94 Table of Contents]
Integrated Resource Management
The Integrated Resource Management Program encompasses seven sub-programs, each with its own mandate:
- Resource Planning
- Range Management
- Recreation Management
- Economics and Trade
- Corporate Policy and Planning
- Forest Sector Strategy
- Integrated Resources.
Together, these sub-programs manage range and recreation resources, integrate their management with that of timber and other provincial resources, develop strategies for sustainable forestry, coordinate the forest planning process, coordinate and develop the ministry’s corporate planning and policy development, and employ economic analysis to assess and develop forest management policies.
Under the main program, ministry staff:
The activities of each sub-program are reported separately.
- ensure sound stewardship of forests and range lands
- prepare integrated resource plans
- analyze the resource-production capabilities of forest and range lands
- develop a provincial strategy for environmental and economic sustainability for the forest sector
- develop strategies for management of botanical forest products
- set forest practices standards, in order to achieve integrated resource management objectives
- communicate objectives and management priorities to resource agencies, the forest and ranching industries, the outdoor recreation community, and the public
- administer range tenures for forage (use by livestock), and negotiate a fair price for Crown forage
- protect recreation resources on forest and range lands
- manage and regulate public recreation use throughout public forest lands
- provide recreation sites, interpretive forest sites, and recreation trails throughout the province for public use
- coordinate the ministry’s corporate planning, legislative activity, and policy development
- address aboriginal land claims and interim measures
- promote aboriginal involvement in the forest sector
- foster the development and economic health of the province’s forests and its forest industry, and manage forest-related trade matters
- analyze the economics of a broad range of forest-resource matters.
Resource planning is one of the seven sub-programs under Integrated Resource Management. Staff provide resource management plans and standards to meet the diverse needs of the public, the resource and tourism industries, and other agencies.
Planning processes promote cooperation and communication among clients, and offer a way to balance conflicting demands for a variety of resources on a limited land base. Well-planned integrated resource management allows clients to meet their needs to the greatest extent possible, while supporting the environmental, social and economic goals of the provincial government.
Activities under the Resource Planning Sub-program can be very controversial because of the diversity and intensity of interest in the management of forest and range lands. Sub-program staff continue to emphasize technically sound planning processes that are open to public and First Nations participation, in order to reach decisions that are accepted by a majority of citizens.
During this fiscal year, Resource Planning staff:
- provided technical and policy support to the planning processes for three regional, 12 sub-regional, and numerous local resource plans
- developed training and communication materials and technical guidelines (e.g., public participation and resource analysis) for sub-regional Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP)
- provided technical assistance to the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE), the Land Use Coordination Office, regional inter-agency management committees, and the Protected Areas Strategy (PAS)
- initiated policy discussions about Total Resource Planning for long-term integrated resource management at the local level
- participated in initial development of the planning components for the Forest Practices Code.
In the 1994/95 fiscal year, Resource Planning staff will:
- promote efficient, effective land and resource management planning through communication and training
- complete technical guidelines and finalize implementation and approval procedures for sub-regional LRMP
- provide technical support for the planning components of the Forest Practices Code, and ensure linkages between the Code and higher-level planning
- revise the ministry’s planning framework to ensure consistency with the emerging provincial land-use strategy
- complete policy discussions on Total Resource Planning
- continue to provide support for three regional, 12 sub-regional, and numerous local resource plans
- continue to provide technical support for the CORE, the Land Use Coordination Office, inter-ministry planning bodies, and the PAS.
Staff of this sub-program, which is funded under Integrated Resource Management, work to protect and conserve Crown range ecosystems, while meeting the needs of livestock, wildlife and other resources.
Sub-program staff use cost-effective treatments to enhance forage productivity and quality for wildlife and the ranching industry, and, indirectly, for the tourism industry and the public. Beef cattle producers, guide outfitters and other commercial users harvest approximately one million animal unit months (AUMs) of grazing each year. Forage is also supplied for numerous wildlife species.
In serving their clients in 1993/94, sub-program staff:
- administered 2,002 permits and licences for grazing, and 122 permits and licences for hay cutting (Tables F-2 and F-3)
- authorized livestock, grazing and hay-cutting permits and licences for a total of 998,125 animal unit months (Tables F-2 and F-3)
- worked with other ministries and the public to provide vital noxious weed control and containment programs
- continued the release and spread of biological control agents for knapweed and nodding thistle
- continued research into biological control agents for noxious weeds such as hound’s tongue
- started a range reference area program for the long-term monitoring of the range forage resources
- continued to fund range developments such as forage seeding, water supplies, weed control, and fences and cattle guards that are necessary to protect or enhance the efficient use of the range resource and to mitigate resource-use conflicts.
While Range staff’s direction will remain consistent with the ministry’s five-year plan, increased emphasis will be placed on resource monitoring and inspections, and resource-use planning. In 1994/95, standards and field guides will be produced for range practices and range-use plans.
Demand for Crown forage will likely continue to exceed the available supply.
Recreation Management is one of seven sub-programs under Integrated Resource Management. This sub-program is designed to protect and manage recreation resources, including scenic landscapes and wilderness, and to maintain opportunities for public outdoor recreation throughout British Columbia’s public forest lands. These lands include all provincial forest lands, and all other provincial Crown lands outside of parks and settled areas, such as non-municipal and rural settlements.
Recreation Management staff serve their clients and implement the goals of the sub-program in three major program areas: recreation, visual landscape, and wilderness management.
By managing recreation facilities and road and trail access throughout B.C.’s public forest lands in 1993/94, program staff were able to provide the public with a wide array of recreation opportunities. There were an estimated 45+ million visits by residents, and 8 million visits by non-residents to the province’s public forest lands this year (about two-thirds in roaded areas, and one-third in unroaded areas). Approximately 52 per cent of all use occurred within the Vancouver Forest Region.
There were more than 2.3 million visits to forest recreation facilities this year, representing an increase of 40 per cent in facility use over the last decade. Staff in this program area managed more than 1,395 recreation sites, 80 interpretive forest sites, 535 recreation trails, and nine heritage trails.
Recreation visits to provincial forests generated some $2.4 billion in overall expenditures in 1993/94 by residents and non-residents. Although no fees were charged, millions of dollars of government revenues were derived from various taxes associated with these expenditures for outdoor recreation.
During this fiscal year, staff:
- provided safe, sanitary and environmentally sound recreation sites and other facilities, in keeping with the Forest Service’s role in outdoor recreation
- distributed approximately 200,000 copies of forest district recreation maps to the public
- completed a recreation resource kit for public presentations and continued to work on other extension services
- reviewed about 4,500 plans as part of the ministry’s integrated resource management planning process (reviewed by district, regional or headquarters recreation staff)
- participated in the Forest Practices Code initiative
- provided technical information to B.C.’s land-use planning initiatives, including the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE), Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP), and the Protected Areas Strategy (PAS)
- continued to develop policy and management guidelines for cave and karst resources and forest interpretation, including interpretive forest sites
- updated approximately 10 per cent of the ministry’s forest recreation inventory (biophysical, cultural heritage and historical resources)
- increased the on-site management presence to curb vandalism and rowdyism at some sites, primarily in the Lower Mainland and on southeastern Vancouver Island
- published a management plan for the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail, which also served as a prototype plan for designated heritage trails
- completed the first-ever public review of the Recreation Program, which evaluated its mandate, goals, objectives and standards, and identified key program issues
- worked on the Recreation component of the 1994 Forest, Range and Recreation Resource Analysis.
Visual landscape management
During 1993/94, program staff continued to identify and assess visual values in visually sensitive areas throughout provincial forests, as part of the ministry’s integrated resource management planning and forest practices.
One of the main goals for staff in this area was to assist forest managers in achieving publicly acceptable visual quality on B.C.’s public forest lands.
In addition, program staff:
- conducted a study to assess public response to partial cutting to meet visual quality objectives (VQOs)
- reviewed more than 600 visual-impact assessments carried out by forest licensees
- began a study to test public response to clearcutting as a method to achieve VQOs
- initiated the development of a visual landscape design training manual and training program, in collaboration with the British Forestry Commission
- continued to develop provincial and regional visual landscape management guidelines and operating procedures
- developed and published a VQO photo sheet to assist district staff in conducting field assessments
- continued visual landscape inventory work, with the help of the Canada - B.C. Partnership Agreement on Forest Resource Development (FRDA II), to identify visually sensitive areas in B.C.’s public forest lands.
In 1993/94, program staff protected and managed wilderness in provincial forests.
Recreation Management staff also provided wilderness recreation opportunities to the public on some 49 million hectares of roadless areas (or approximately half of B.C.’s public forest lands), and in four designated wilderness areas covering a total area of 130,000 hectares. An estimated one-third of all public recreation use in provincial forests – or more than 18 million visits – took place on these lands this year by residents and non-residents.
In addition, program staff:
- contributed to the PAS, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and other ministries
- completed a survey, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, to determine how residents use and value B.C.’s wilderness
- published a Wilderness Management Plan for the 68,000-hectare Height-of-the-Rockies Wilderness Area
- continued work on the Wilderness Management Plan for the Swan Lake Wilderness Area, which included using the Limits of
Acceptable Change (LAC) system
- completed a draft Wilderness Management Handbook to more effectively monitor backcountry campsite conditions
- monitored backcountry conditions in the Spruce Lake area and in northeastern B.C. using LAC field research and user surveys.
Increasing population and changing public values will lead to:
Limited government resources will lead to:
- more competition between recreation users (e.g., motorized and non-motorized users)
- the need for more formal mechanisms to allocate limited recreation resources (e.g., between commercial and non-commercial recreation users)
- a greater impact on the environment by forest recreation users
- a reduction in the quality of some recreation experiences
- the need for coordinated recreation strategies that address these issues.
Increasing recreation use of B.C.’s public forest lands will lead to increasing regulation of recreation activities.
- increased pressure for user fees
- increased reliance on volunteers
- a greater need to develop new funding mechanisms (e.g., partnerships, special funds, foundations and trusts).