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 Subsequently, the initial deal was superseded by an agreement, dated April 1, 1996, that provided fee-free access to the U.S. for 14.7 billion board feet of lumber from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario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 Ministry

Legislative authority

The mandate of the Forest Service, as stated in section 4 of the Ministry of Forests Act, is to:
  1. encourage maximum productivity of the forest and range resources in the Province,
  2. 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,
  3. 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,
  4. encourage a vigorous, efficient and world-competitive timber processing industry in the Province, and
  5. 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:

  1. managing forests to meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations,
  2. providing stewardship of forests based on an ethic of respect for the land,
  3. balancing productive, spiritual, ecological and recreational values of forests to meet the economic and cultural needs of peoples and communities, including First Nations,
  4. conserving biological diversity, soil, water, fish, wildlife, scenic diversity and other forest resources, and
  5. restoring damaged ecologies.

The main responsibilities and authorities of the Forest Service are defined in the following provincial legislation:

In addition, the following legislation is under the responsibility of the Minister of Forests, but is not directly administered by the Forest Service:

The Forest Service also has administrative responsibilities under:

Implementing the mandate

To implement its mandate, the Forest Service:

Integrated resource management is a process that:

To achieve integrated resource management, the Forest Service:

Guiding principles

As stewards of the province's forest and range resources, the Forest Service follows these principles:

Reports

The Ministry of Forests Act requires the Forest Service to prepare:

Organization by Reporting Function


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