Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1995/96
Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1995/96 Table of Contents
Forest industry revenues
Stumpage fees and royalties raised $1.7 billion in 1995/96, down from $1.9 billion in 1994/95. The international demand for pulp and paper remained strong throughout 1995, but dropped precipitously at the end of the year. In solid wood, the North American market sagged during 1995, but was buoyed by international demand – lumber prices strengthened by the latter part of the year.
Softwood lumber deal
The United States and Canada initially agreed to a softwood lumber deal on February 16, 1996 that guaranteed, for British Columbia, free export access to U.S. markets for nine billion board feet of lumber a year. Other provinces agreed, within the deal, to different terms. Subsequently, the initial deal was superseded by an agreement, dated April 1, 1996, that provided fee-free access to the U.S. for 14.7 billion board feet of lumber from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Fees above 14.7 billion board feet are staggered, and in periods of high lumber prices, the fee-free volumes will be allowed to increase above the basic 14.7 billion board feet.
The deal also guaranteed that the U.S. government and forest industry will not petition for, or start, a countervailing duty investigation in the next five years. (In August 1994, Canada won a long-standing battle with the U.S. over duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The decision was made by an Extraordinary Challenge Committee, struck under the Canada - U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which dismissed U.S. allegations of appearance of bias and incorrect application of U.S. law by a binational panel. The panel found that Canadian stumpage programs and B.C.'s log export controls were not countervailable subsidies.)
By guaranteeing access to U.S. markets for lumber exports, the deal provides a more secure footing for the provincial lumber industry, and expansion of the value-added sector.
The mandate of the Forest Service, as stated in section 4 of the Ministry of Forests Act, is to:
- encourage maximum productivity of the forest and range resources in the Province,
- manage, protect and conserve the forest and range resources of the Crown, having regard to the immediate and long-term economic and social benefits they may confer on the Province,
- plan the use of the forest and range resources of the Crown, so that the production of timber, the grazing of livestock and the realization of fisheries, wildlife, water, outdoor recreation and other natural resource values are coordinated and integrated, in consultation and cooperation with other ministries and agencies of the Crown and with the private sector,
- encourage a vigorous, efficient and world-competitive timber processing industry in the Province, and
- assert the financial interests of the Crown in its forest and range resources in a systematic and equitable manner.
In addition, the Forest Service is required under the preamble to the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act to manage the forest and range resource to ensure sustainable use, which includes:
- managing forests to meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations,
- providing stewardship of forests based on an ethic of respect for the land,
- balancing productive, spiritual, ecological and recreational values of forests to meet the economic and cultural needs of peoples and communities, including First Nations,
- conserving biological diversity, soil, water, fish, wildlife, scenic diversity and other forest resources, and
- restoring damaged ecologies.
The main responsibilities and authorities of the Forest Service are defined in the following provincial legislation:
- Ministry of Forests Act, Revised Statutes of B.C., 1979, Chapter 272,
- Forest Act, Revised Statutes of B.C., 1979, Chapter 140,
- Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, Statutes of B.C., 1994, Chapter 41, and
- Range Act, Revised Statutes of B.C., 1979, Chapter 355.
In addition, the following legislation is under the responsibility of the Minister of Forests, but is not directly administered by the Forest Service:
- BC Forest Renewal Act; Statutes of B.C. 1994, Chapter 3,
- Forest Land Reserve Act; Statutes of B.C., 1994, Chapter 40, and
- Foresters Act, Revised Statutes of B.C., 1979, Chapter 141.
The Forest Service also has administrative responsibilities under:
- the Boom Chain Brand Act, Revised Statutes of B.C., 1979, Chapter 33, and
- the Forest Stand Management Fund Act, Revised Statutes of B.C., 1986, Chapter 8.
Implementing the mandate
To implement its mandate, the Forest Service:
- provides mandatory provincial and regional requirements through legislation for forest practices,
- provides site-specific guidance on the requirements of the Forest Practices Code, and places those requirements in forest plans, prescriptions and contracts,
- monitors and enforces the requirements of the Forest Practices Code,
- works in partnership with other agencies to renew and revitalize the province's forests, forest workforce and forest-dependent
- grows healthy, productive forests to meet the province's social and economic needs,
- manages and protects Crown forest lands to ensure sustainable development of:
- timber for the forest industry
- forage for the livestock industry
- protection of non-timber values,
- provides forest recreation and manages wilderness values in provincial forests,
- collects resource revenues from the Crown's forest and range resources through stumpage,
royalties, rents and fees,
- encourages value-added manufacturing,
- requires reforestation of Crown forest lands,
- conducts research in forest renewal, forest productivity and decision aids, and integrated resource management,
- protects the province's forest and range resources from damage by fire, forest insects
- maintains a current and accurate inventory of forest and range values,
- consults with First Nations to ensure that aboriginal rights are not infringed by
forest management activities,
- works with First Nations and industry to increase the involvement of aboriginal peoples
in the forest sector,
- informs various audiences about the Forest Service's mandates, goals and organization, and
- ensures the best balance of all resource values through integrated resource management.
Integrated resource management is a process that:
- identifies and considers all resource values,
- assigns resource use and management emphasis based on an evaluation
of land and resource management options developed from biophysical,
social and economic factors,
- is guided by the principles of sustainable use and resource stewardship,
- produces a picture of resource uses and priorities for large areas, and
- selects the best uses for the present, and schedules resource use changes over time.
To achieve integrated resource management, the Forest Service:
- fairly and equitably considers social, economic and environmental factors,
- ensures consistency in resource management between government agencies by working cooperatively to deliver integrated resource management programs, and
- works closely with the public to define land and resource use priorities.
As stewards of the province's forest and range resources, the Forest Service follows these principles:
- We earn and maintain public trust and confidence through sound program and fiscal management.
- We strive for the wise, balanced use and protection of all forest resources.
- Our employees are our most important asset.
- Employees are:
- trusted and respected,
- empowered and supported,
- recognized and consulted, and
- trained and developed.
- Our actions and decisions contribute to an equitable, safe, healthy and satisfying work
- We work together as a team within and between our functional and geographical boundaries
while respecting each other's roles.
- We encourage initiative, take risks, learn from our mistakes and build on our successes.
- We communicate in an appropriate, open, honest and timely manner.
- Our actions match our words; we accept personal accountability for demonstrating integrity.
- We are open and responsive to changing values and concerns.
- We consult with and inform clients.
- We provide high-quality service.
The Ministry of Forests Act requires the Forest Service to prepare:
- a periodic resource analysis describing the conditions, management
and future uses of the forest and range resources to enable informed
setting of overall priorities and long-term objectives,
- a five-year program, updated annually, that sets the schedules,
methods and priorities for forest and range resource management
and improvements, and
- an annual report that reviews the use and management of resources,
the effects of the ministry's programs, and the ministry's performance
with respect to the five-year program.
Organization by Reporting Function