Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1994/95


Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1994/95 Table of Contents

South Moresby Implementation

Introduction

With the establishment of Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby National Park Reserve in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), an estimated 147,000 hectares of provincial forest were removed from the timber-producing land base. The South Moresby Forest Replacement Account (SMFRA) was created to help offset the reduction in timber supply and the associated loss of forestry jobs that resulted from the creation of the park reserve.

Established in 1988, SMFRA promotes enhanced forest management and provides economic opportunities through the forest sector for the people of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The Canada and British Columbia governments each contributed $12 million to establish the fund. The interest-bearing account is jointly administered by a management committee made up of representatives of both governments. One of the key features of the account is that the funds are in addition to, rather than a replacement of regular government funding.

Projects funded under SMFRA fall into one of three basic components: operational forestry enhancement, research and demonstration, or communications.

Since 1990/91, the SMFRA management committee has specified that all new projects must be located on or developed specifically for the Queen Charlotte Islands. Projects can be undertaken on any productive lands in the Queen Charlottes committed to long-term forest management. Projects located on private, native, municipal, or federal lands are also eligible for funding under the SMFRA. Priority for operational forestry enhancement is given to those projects and treatments that provide the best combination of increased timber productivity and employment.

The original term of SMFRA was eight years, with an option to extend the term by up to four years. In September of 1994, the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Natural Resources Canada approved a four-year extension, to March 31, 2000. Currently, the federal and provincial governments are investigating options for extending the term of the SMFRA beyond 2000.

Two special accounts are included under the South Moresby initiative:

1994/95 Highlights

South Moresby Forest Replacement Account

During this fiscal year, accomplishments under the SMFRA included silviculture work in spacing, pruning, monitoring of pest problems in silvicultural systems, research, inventory and communications.

Direct employment generated by the SMFRA in 1994/95 is estimated at approximately 17 person-years, and estimated total employment at 32 person-years. Total employment includes indirect employment through business sectors such as the service industry.

In the 1995/96, the majority of funding will be allocated to operational silviculture activities to enhance employment opportunities. The mid-term review of SMFRA will be completed, and follow-up will begin on recommendations. Communication activities will include a fall/winter lecture series and the development of several interpretative forest sites and trails.

South Moresby Forestry Compensation Account

This account was established in 1988 to provide for the acquisition of third-party forest interests associated with the establishment of the South Moresby National Park Reserve. The account is administered by a joint federal/provincial committee.

The compensation settlement issue with MacMillan Bloedel Limited, the final claimant, is currently before the courts.


Forest Worker Development Program

The Forest Worker Development Program (FWDP) is a three-tiered training and employment program with an entry level, a bridging level, and a local-contractor level. All three levels support training in forest improvement techniques, while developing a more community-based approach to contracting. The entry and bridging levels are funded jointly under cooperative arrangements with the ministries of Skills, Training and Labour, and Social Services. Income-assistance recipients represent 70 per cent of the participants.

Project work at the entry level includes a mix of silviculture, recreation, range and engineering to give participants an introduction to as many forest work activities as possible. At the bridging level, the focus is on two or three of these activities in order to facilitate skills development.

The local-contractor level includes a combination of project work from the ministry's Silviculture, Recreation, Range and Engineering programs.

1994/95 Highlights

In the final year of the FWDP program, accomplishments by entry- and bridging-level participants included maintaining 77 recreation sites and 187 kilometres of recreation trails. They also seeded 28 hectares of range and maintained 485 kilometres of roads. More than 850 positions and 362 worker years of employment were generated in 1994/95 through a total of 106 entry- and bridging-level crews throughout the province.

In this year, workers under the Forest Improvement Project spaced a total of 3,004 hectares, brushed 1,570 hectares, and pruned 823 hectares.

Representation by equity groups was 11 per cent women, 42 per cent First Nations, 13 per cent minority groups, 6 per cent disabled persons, 38 per cent youth, and 66 per cent displaced workers. Income assistance recipients made up 82 per cent of participants at the entry and bridging levels.


Forest Renewal BC

The Forest Renewal Plan was announced in April 1994. It provides a framework for a long-term investment strategy for British Columbia's forests and forest sector which is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Forest Renewal BC, a new Crown agency, was established in 1994 by the BC Forest Renewal Act to put the plan into action. Forest Renewal BC board members represent forestry workers, First Nations, environmental groups, industry, communities and government.

Forest Renewal BC's funding is derived from increases in stumpage and royalties paid by companies to harvest timber on Crown land. The Act guarantees, by law, that most of the increased revenue from these sources will be permanently available to the agency, so an estimated $400 million a year will be reinvested in the forests, forest workers, and communities that rely on the forests. On May 1, 1994, stumpage rates were increased to begin generating this revenue.

Forest Renewal BC is an unprecedented partnership among stakeholders working together to renew B.C.'s forests and ensure stable, long-term jobs. The agency's priorities are to:

1994/95 Highlights

In 1994/95 the Ministry of Forests acted as an agent for Forest Renewal BC under contract, completing more that 360 projects under the Enhanced Forestry Program, the Watershed Restoration Program, an expanded Woodlot Licence Program, the Resources Inventory Program, and the Land and Resources Research Program. (Projects funded by the agency are in addition to any that are funded under existing obligations by industry or government.)

The Enhanced Forestry Program invests in improved reforestation and stand tending, as well as increasing lands available for planting new trees. During 1994/95, silviculture accomplishments under this program included surveys, spacing, pruning and fertilizing on a total of nearly 21,400 hectares.The program also provided forest worker training in new forest practices, and retrained displaced forest workers.

The Watershed Restoration Program is designed to accelerate the recovery of watersheds that have been adversely affected by past timber harvesting practices. Delivered in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, this program offers community-based employment, training and stewardship opportunities throughout the province through forest-sector job diversification. An important aspect of this program is the deactivation and rehabilitation of old logging roads that are no longer in use. This portion of the program is administered solely by the Ministry of Forests. During 1994/95, 45 projects were completed, and more than 2,500 kilometres of roads were assessed and deactivated.

The Woodlot Licence Program is designed to increase the amount of private forest land under sustainable yield management, promote excellence in forest management, and provide extension and technical assistance services to woodlot licence holders. Funding from Forest Renewal BC will increase the ministry's capability to issue and manage woodlot licences and to provide extension services to small operators via private forestry consultants. In the 1994/95 fiscal year, 12 projects were completed under this program.

The main goals of the Resources Inventory Program are to support and improve forest resource planning and decision making, and to facilitate the integration of non-timber resource values. Employees in this program produce databanks, maps, analytical tools and training materials. Six projects were completed in this area in 1994/95.

The Land and Resources Research Program funds research projects in growth and yield, tree improvement, hardwood management, silvicultural systems and extension. Project proposals are submitted by universities and colleges, forest companies, government agencies and others. During 1994/95, 52 projects were completed.

All Forest Renewal BC activities are detailed in the Forest Renewal BC 1994/95 Annual Report.


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