Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

FRPA Executive Communications

Update on FRPA Activities – September 23, 2008 – FRPA Update # 24

Welcome to my September 2008 communication. I hope you found some time to rest and recharge during the summer months. I have to apologize in advance for the length of this update, however I think it contains some important information for FRPA practitioners.

In my last communication, I encouraged everyone to develop and maintain positive working relationships with their peers in other agencies and industry. In this issue, I want to update you on an interesting and successful series of Government Actions Regulations (GAR) workshops that we conducted over the past year along with an update on the refocused role for the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT). I also wish to remind everyone of the importance of innovation in helping us realize the goals and benefits of the FRPA and encourage professionals, licensees/BCTS and Forest Service personnel to look for ways to apply and adjudicate innovation in our FSPs.

Government Actions Regulation (GAR) Workshops

I'm pleased to report on the success of the Government Actions Regulation (GAR) workshops delivered five times around the province over the past year. The GAR workshops were sponsored by the PFIT and designed to develop a common understanding between government and industry on how we can effectively implement GAR actions. The GAR is a key piece in the FRPA framework and the workshops helped us discuss ways to ensure the GAR component is functioning as intended.

The workshops saw some great discussions and exchanges of ideas on how we can use GAR to collectively address the FRPA values with the highest risks and priorities while using our resources in the most effective way possible. The sessions were an excellent example of how co-operation and collaboration can address issues that are critical to the successful implementation of the FRPA. They provided clarity and understanding of how GAR works legislatively and an excellent source of applied experience that we are using to update existing GAR advice and procedures.

Following these workshops, we are planning further activity under the objectives "pillar" of the FRPA framework. For example, this Fall, we are planning to develop and provide information and training on writing and establishing legal objectives and collaborating when undertaking GAR actions. This information and training is primarily targeted at government personnel but will involve industry and other stakeholders.

More information on the recent workshops can be found in the GAR section of the PFIT website at:

Refocused role for PFIT

We have just finished updating the terms of reference for the PFIT to include an expansion of its strategic role. Now that we are through FRPA transition to the, PFIT will be increasing its efforts in proactively looking at the strategic implications and opportunities from a wide range of issues associated with FRPA. PFIT is uniquely positioned with its infrastructure and excellent working relationships between government agencies and industry to link into a wide range of forestry and range related issues and opportunities. For example, working with the new Independent Power Producers office on improving the linkage with forest operations under FRPA, or discussing the challenges of implementing the new relationship with First Nations within the FRPA framework and looking at options for improvements to current FRPA business process .

PFIT will also be looking ahead within the FRPA model at key elements of FRPA implementation to ensure the goals and benefits of FRPA continue to be realized. This includes PFIT themed meetings with focused discussion on the measures of success PFIT developed on encouraging innovation, continuous improvement and professional reliance. The PFIT support tools, sub-teams and regional I-team network will be reinforced, strengthened and /or expanded to ensure a strong support foundation for the successful implementation of FRPA—while freeing-up PFIT to expand its strategic role. PFIT will continue with their issues management sub-team and react and respond to specific FRPA issues as they emerge.

More information on the roles, responsibilities and members of the PFIT can be found in the PFIT Terms of Reference available on the PFIT website at:

Innovation and FSPs

Now that many FSPs are in place and we have a couple of years until the next round of FSPs are due, we can turn our minds to how we operate under the approved FSPs and look for ways to ensure we fully realize the goals of FRPA. Using innovation to find different and better ways to do our business is one way we can further realize the FRPA goals of increased freedom to manage, reduced transaction costs and increased global competitiveness.

During the transition to FRPA, many practitioners focused on understanding the legislation and utilized as many of the defaults and standards in FRPA as feasible. For example, many licensees and BCTS adopted the practice requirements in the FPPR as some of their FSP results and strategies. This was great to see in terms of professionals and licensees/BCTS taking advantage of these defaults and standards to ease the transition to operating under FRPA.

Now that we are shifting from developing to operating under FSPs, I encourage all professionals, licensees/BCTS and Forest Service personnel to look for ways to apply innovation in our current and future FSP’s and foster a culture conducive to innovation. Look to a continuous improvement approach with willingness to consider new ideas as a means to embrace a culture of innovation. One way licensees and BCTS can reduce transaction costs, increase efficiencies and provide themselves freedom to manage for local conditions is amending approved FSPs to apply new innovative results, strategies, measures and stocking standards. In fact, some innovative FSPs have already been developed and approved. Recently all licensees were granted access to the FSP tracking system which enables a licensee to see all other approved FSP’s in the province. What a great tool to see what other licensees have done and see what opportunities could be translated for use by others!

At a PFIT sponsored workshop in 2007, licensees and BCTS provided examples of the lessons learned in their organization regarding applying innovation to their FSPs. Some of the lessons discussed at the workshop included being flexible and “just try doing it”—identifying new ideas and approaches, trying them out and amending their FSP to implement the innovative idea or practice. The monitoring and sharing of results through communication helped others learn, apply and build on the innovative ideas and practices. Additional suggestions from the workshop included encouraging professionals to apply good analysis and thinking skills as well as keeping themselves up-to-date on findings from research organizations as well as their peers. By doing so, professionals are better able to identify and support the development of innovative practices—including ways to minimize the risk associated with implementing innovative ideas and practices. A good dialogue and understanding amongst professionals, licensees/BCTS and the Forest Service on what is trying to be done and the corresponding due diligence activities will go a long way in building the necessary trust and address potential compliance issues before they arise.

As I mentioned in my FRPA Update # 20 (August, 2006), innovation in FSPs is a learning exercise for professionals, licensees, BCTS and the Forest Service. I realize innovation can involve a lot of uncertainty but it is up to all of us to embrace innovation and adaptive management to further realize the benefits and goals of FRPA. I encourage you to challenge yourselves and others, in a positive manner, in the plans and activities you undertake to look for better more effective, efficient and nimble ways to manage our Crown land and resources. Both PFIT and the regional I-teams are working on further guidance documents to help with this aspect to the implementation of FRPA. Good communication is key and if anyone has any uncertainty regarding the appropriateness of an innovative idea or practice, they should reach out, ask questions, discuss with their peers and ask for assistance if necessary.

I wish you all the best in working together to implement FRPA and become a creative and innovative forest sector that is globally competitive, an inspiring and rewarding place to work and a model for the rest of the world to envy. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding the information I just discussed

Update on FRPA Activities – April 10, 2007 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update # 23

Hello everyone. I trust everyone is coming out of their nests as the spring weather approaches (we can only hope!).

In terms of FRPA transition, we are shifting our efforts from developing and approving forest stewardship plans (FSP) to the next phase of operating under an approved FSP. One of the most common tips and advice I receive for this coming phase of FRPA is the importance of relationships. In this FRPA Update, I'd like to touch on the importance of positive working relationships in the management of our Crown land and resources.

I was pleased to see the level of positive working relationships that developed between government and industry as we drafted and adjudicated our FSPs. This level of relationship will need to expand and deepen as we enter the post FSP approval world where we'll face new issues and unknowns.

As I mentioned in an earlier communications, FRPA is not a prescriptive forest management model but a shared model based on trust, professional reliance and current science and technical knowledge. Communication and positive working relationships are fundamental to this shared model.

Good working relationships will help develop trust with your stakeholders, provide a wider range of opinions and perspectives leading to better decision-making and result in a more productive way to resolve issues that will undoubtedly arise as we implement these FSPs.

Licensees should look at their internal business processes and ensure they incorporate activities involving building and maintaining relationships. This will help built trust in your role as stewards by keeping the Public, First Nations, government agencies and other tenure holders informed and involved in what happens after the FSP is approved.

Licensees also need to ensure they continue to work with each other in exchanging information to avoid issues at the cut block stage as well as leveraging the successes and realizing the efficiencies in carrying out practices on the ground.

We at the MOFR are continuing to do this as well-building relationships with other agencies, licensees, Public and First Nations as well as other tenure holders to ensure everyone understands the FRPA model and its goals, intent and objectives.

Professionals advising government and/or licensees need positive working relationships with their clients and their peers as one of the fundamental components of professional reliance. Professional reliance is about relying on professionals to apply the knowledge and expertise of their profession to make the best decisions. Professional accountability is about adhering to the standards of practice for that profession. Together, these are powerful tools to help us manage our Crown land and resources in the best way we can-factoring in economic, environmental and social expectations. Regular and frequent dialogue amongst professionals will improve decision-making through considering the thoughts and opinions of a wide range of experts that encompasses current science and technical knowledge. Getting out in the field and discussing management options and tradeoffs with peers is something all professionals love to do. I encourage you to continue to do this as it will also help to expand your judgment and decision-making abilities.

I encourage you to build positive, ongoing relationships with everyone you will be working with. There is a need to regularize communications and not to let this aspect of FRPA implementation slip due to other work and perceived "higher priorities".

The development of relationships is an on-going process. It does not happen over night or through a multi step process. Relationships are based on honesty, respect, on-going dialogue and the sharing of common goal(s). It isn't about always agreeing with each other on every issue but recognizing and respecting differences in opinions while trying to find a common understanding and balance. This can only be accomplished by discussing, sharing opinions and making adjustments to accommodate the interests of other parties. Many issues in forest management are a result of conflicts between people. Rarely do I see issues a result of technical skills but more a lack of communication, understanding and/or trust. Positive working relationships can reduce or resolve many of these issues.

I wish you well in your relationship building efforts as we move into the next, exciting phase in the implementation of the FRPA.

Update on FRPA Activities – February 12, 2007 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update # 22

Good afternoon and thanks for reading my second communications of 2007. I think that this coming year will be an interesting and exciting year for the implementation of FRPA. In this communication, I'd like to cover three topics that will impact our priorities and workload for 2007 -

  1. the extended transition period,

  2. the review and approval of other FRPA operational plans and

  3. new issues and challenges when operating under an approved FRPA operational plan.

Forest Stewardship Plans (FSP)

I am very impressed with the level of effort and teamwork that has gone into the development and review of the FSPs so far. As you are most likely aware, we have extended the transition period when FDPs expire to the end of March 31, 2007. This applies to major licensees, BC Timber Sales and holders of Community Forest Agreements. This extension will enable licensees and districts to properly complete the development, review and approval of the remaining FSPs while maintaining the wood flow under grandparented forest development plans. This extension also enables BCTS to prepare and/or amend the necessary site plans to align with FRPA requirements for timber sales licences sold under their program and minimize the impact on the tenure holders who operate under these licences.

Range Use Plans (RUP), Range Stewardship Plans (RSP) and Woodlot Licence Plans (WLP)

The transition period for grandparented range and woodlot plans approved under the Code has been extended until the end of December, 2007. This transition has been extended to enable these smaller licensees more time to complete their plans given the technical and financial challenges they face in terms of legislative changes and the effort to develop these operational plans while ensuring operations can continue through 2007 (e.g., mountain pine beetle, livestock turn out etc.). The extension will also allow for some districts time to concentrate on completing the remaining FSP approvals before turning their minds to reviewing and approving these plans. The additional time provided by the extension will enable guidance materials to be developed and distributed to aid the preparation and approval of these plans.

Our goal for 2007 is to have every tenure holder who needs and wants an operational plan, to have one in place in order that their operations continue through the transition period. The MOFR Operations Leadership team will be monitoring our progress against this goal and provide support and assistance where required. The monthly reports listing progress of reviewing and approving FSP’s were extremely useful and I encourage districts to continue with this monthly reporting for all their operational plans including woodlot and range plans.

New Issues and Challenges

Throughout 2007, we will be juggling many FRPA related and other work tasks, as we also turn our attention to the review and approval process for woodlot and range plans. I appreciate the effort and support the districts in their "multi-tasking" to assign resources, priorities and strategies to review and approve these woodlot and range plans while continuing with operations under approved FSPs and the remaining FDPs and range use plans. In addition, all personnel involved in reviewing woodlot and range plans should be aware of the requirements in the regulations-Range Planning and Practices Regulation (RPPR) and Woodlot Licence Planning and Practices Regulation (WLPPR). These plans have different content and process requirements as compared to forest stewardship plans.

Please contact our Branch experts if you have any questions regarding these plans-Dave Haley ( for woodlot licence plans and David Borth( for range plans.

We have realized a lot of accomplishments over the past years in getting us to where we are now. I want to both congratulate and thank you all for your efforts and dedication. We are now approaching a major milestone in the implementation of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) where we shift our focus from the planning phase into the operations phase. This will bring a whole new set of issues and challenges for us to address. A priority for PFIT ( Provincial FRPA Implementation Team) is to provide information, guidance and leadership into the world of operating under an approved FRPA operational plan.

PFIT has a post FSP workshop planned for March 2007 to provide a forum for discussing the operational issues that arise after an FSP is approved. This learnings workshop, similar to the one held for FSPs last year, will generate guidance that will be communicated to others through the Administrative Guide for FSPs (AGFSP). The regions are also considering holding similar meetings with regional focus later this year to assist reaching a broader audience.

We have also established a sub-group of the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) to identify, track and manage the issues and challenges associated with woodlots and range tenures operating under FRPA. I encourage you to send your issues and concerns through your Regional I-Team leaders ( Bill Quinn (NIR), Larry Hanlon / Harry Jennings (SIR) and Chuck Rowan (CR)) to this sub-group.

Workshops and/or other learning and communication tools will be developed for the range and woodlot audience and related staff. The content will involve both planning issues and operating issues under FRPA.

I am very excited and proud of the commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by agency staff over the past year toward the implementation of the FRPA. I encourage you to continue to be positive, supportive and patient, as well as open minded to the new way of doing our stewardship 'business' as we enter this next phase. I wish you all an exciting and rewarding 2007. Thanks.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations Division
BC Forest Service

Update on FRPA Activities – January 11, 2007 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update # 21

Welcome to my first FRPA communication for 2007. I send along with this note my best wishes for a happy and prosperous year. This new year will be an interesting and exciting one for the implementation of FRPA. The purpose of this note is to provide regional MoFR / Industry teams with some ideas to assist you plan your activities in the post-FSP approval phase of FRPA.

Everyone should be congratulated on the excellent progress to-date in the transition to FRPA. We are very impressed and excited to see the activity and products developed to aid the development and submission/review of FSPs. The regional workshops held in 2006 were a great success and a turning point for building momentum on the FSP front.

Notwithstanding the recent transition provisions extensions, with many FSPs approved and/or plans in the approval process, we now need to turn our minds to operating in the FSP/FRPA world. PFIT encourages the regional teams to lead the way into this next phase of FRPA by planning and building your activities and communications in this area. Key areas to consider in the “what we do once an FSP is approved?” area include the following:

  • continuing the partnership model--maintaining dialogue with all stakeholders; and

  • communicating successes and learnings.

Continuing the partnership model—maintaining dialog with all stakeholders

FRPA is based on communication and building/maintaining relationships—including relationships among professionals, licensees, between industry and government and with the public and other stakeholders. In the post-FSP approval world, we need to continue to work together to achieve the vision of FRPA—including realizing increased efficiencies, flexibility and environmental stewardship. We need to build and maintain trust in each other as we fulfill our roles under FRPA. This requires on-going communication and information sharing.

There is a concern over the lack of general understanding of FRPA amongst the public, other stakeholder groups and other tenure holders. We need to help all stakeholders shift from viewing and commenting on cut blocks in an FDP to the FRPA world of analyzing environmental values and conducting operations consistent with objectives designed to conserve, protect and manage environmental values while providing flexibility and freedom for licensees to manage their activities within a globally competitive forest sector. Government and industry should look for ways to ensure stakeholders such as the Public, first nations and other tenure holders understand this shift. This can be accomplished in many ways including regular and frequent dialogue, providing employees with information, training and tools to respond accordingly when dealing with other stakeholders and being proactive in providing information in an easy to understand and access way. Site planning activities are an excellent way to maintain communication and dialogue with the Public, First Nations and other tenure holders. Licensees should be encouraged to prepare and take the time to explain how forest development units in the FSP evolve into roads and cutblocks and solicit feedback and questions from others who may not be familiar with FRPA and how it works.

Licensees should look at their internal business processes and ensure they incorporate activities involving on-going dialogue with the public, First Nations and other tenure holders to keep these stakeholders informed and involved in what happens after the FSP is approved. The MOFR is continuing to do this as well—including training and communicating with their staff on working with these stakeholders on an on-going basis.

Licensees also need to ensure they continue to communicate with each other. Many people have a perception that inter-licensee communication is weak. We need to encourage licensees working in the same area to exchange information and work together to avoid issues at the cut block stage and leverage successes and realize efficiencies in practices.

Communicating success and learnings

Many view the promotion of FRPA as the government’s responsibility. Consistent with the FRPA partnership model, we need to take a shared responsibility for promoting FRPA and realizing the benefits and challenges of the transition to FRPA.

Professionals should look for ways to capture, communicate and share successes and learnings such as the implementation of results and strategies in approved FSPs. Professional reliance and information in the non-legal realm are key components of the FRPA world. Regular and frequent information sharing amongst professionals within and across government and industry will be necessary to enable these components to achieve their full potential.

Licensees and government should promote and acknowledge successes in the transition to FRPA both internally and to external stakeholders. Suggestions for simple ways to promote successes include raising the awareness of approved FSPs and activities conducted under an approved FSP. Websites, newsletters and advertisements can summarize and describe accomplishments and plans for operating under FRPA. Licensees can provide easy access to FSPs on their public websites along with testimonials, timelines and other operational information illustrating how they have embraced FRPA.

The Forest Practices Board report contains findings and recommendations for both licensees and government to consider. PFIT is currently working with the MOFR to respond and make changes to deal with the report. Licensees should also be encouraged to think about what they can do to respond as the Forest Practices Board gets more and more active on FRPA items and issues.

In summary, PFIT encourages the regional joint MoFR / Industry teams to look at the question “what do we do now that our FSP is approved?” You should look for ways to encourage government, licensees and professionals in your region to identify and implement the changes necessary to operate under an approved FSP. Your team should encourage all stakeholders to work together and keep the communication and dialogue going once the FSP is approved. By sharing information, successes and lessons, we will help everyone transition and realize the vision of FRPA.

Please contact your Regional I-Team representative if you have any questions or issues regarding FRPA implementation activities. Contacts can be found in the Terms of Reference on the PFIT website or by contacting the Regional I-Team Leaders: Bill Quinn (NIR), Larry Hanlon / Harry Jennings (SIR) and Chuck Rowan (CR).

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations Division
BC Forest Service

Update on FRPA Activities – August 29, 2006 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update # 20

Good morning everyone. I trust everyone has had a great summer and has had the opportunity for some time off with family and friends and to recharge.

As we move toward Fall, I continue to be excited with the progress we are making in the transition to the FRPA world. A lot of good questions and issues are arising-showing lots of FRPA implementation activities in the districts. One question I've been asked several times is regarding cut-off dates for both FDP amendments and FSP submissions. In this note, I wanted to set expectations regarding timeframes for our (MOFR) activities in order to process a submitted FSP and FDP amendment by December 31.

In terms of the FPC world, we cannot issue cutting permits and road permits under an approved FDP after they expire on December 31, 2006. Major amendments to an FDP to include new blocks and roads need to be received in our District offices soon (along with any cutting permit and road permit applications). We need to ensure we have enough time to conduct the necessary reviews including our First Nations consultation protocols that take at least 60 (to 90) days. I would suggest an early to mid-October timeframe be considered for the “cut-off” date for receiving these documents in order for staff to have the necessary time to approve or issue them prior to December 31 (not including the advertising requirements that licensees must undertake prior to submission). I would encourage BCTS and licensees to work closely with district staff to ensure workloads and expectations can be accommodated. Licensees may be able to shorten the timeframe for our First Nations consultation process if they have done some groundwork with First Nations information sharing before the formal MOFR consultation process begins.

On the FSP submission side, our experience is showing that it takes approximately two months to conduct our review and approval process depending on the nature of the submission. BCTS and Licensees will need to submit their FSPs in the next month or so in order for approval close to the end of December. As a “heads-up”, the FSP Tracking System should be available later this Fall to assist you track and administer the FSP review and approval process. I will explain more on this in a future communication.

I encourage District personnel to explain, to your local licensees, our anticipated workload as the December deadline approaches. We should set expectations with licensees regarding timeframes for our review and approval process and when we'll need plans submitted in order to “keep the wood flowing” and enable an efficient and proper review and consultation process with our stakeholders. You also may wish to point licensees to the “Managing Through Transition - FSP Opportunities” bulletin that is available on the PFIT website: for some good information for assisting licensees with their planning activities. Licensees should be careful considering what kind of strategy they will be using to get through transition in order district staff won't get bogged down and prolong approval timelines creating risk to harvest flows.

I would encourage everyone that is working on an FSP to be innovative, and to remember that this is a learning exercise for licensees and for the Forest Service. We need to ensure that communications are well maintained and that if you are in doubt, as a submittor or an approver, you reach out, ask questions, discuss with peers and ask for help. I know it will be a challenge, but it is up to us to make this regime work. You continue to have my full support and appreciation for the task ahead. Please contact your Regional I-Team representative if you have any questions or issues regarding FRPA implementation activities. Contacts can be found in the Terms of Reference on the PFIT website or by contacting the Regional I-Team Leaders: Bill Quinn (NIR), Larry Hanlon / Harry Jennings (SIR) and Chuck Rowan (CR). Also, remember the helpful tools, checklists, business process maps and other information available in the recently enhanced Administrative Guide for FSPs (AGFSP) and on the PFIT website

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – June 30, 2006 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update # 19

Hello everyone. Thanks for opening my mid-year update on FRPA implementation.

Most of you know that we have roughly six months to go before all current major licensee or BCTS forest development plans are no longer in effect. Licensees are working on several options to pursue in their planning activities for the remainder of 2006. This includes preparing and submitting new FSPs, amendments to approved FDPs and applications for cutting and road permits.

I would like to acknowledge the effort of all district personnel who are extremely busy reviewing these plans, amendments and applications for permits. We appreciate your effort and encourage you to keep up the excellent work.

In my last update, I recommended districts prepare for the FSP review and approval workload anticipated over the next few months. I trust districts have developed and implemented these plans. To support you, PFIT has been busy preparing tools and processes. A new version of the Administrative Guide for FSPs (AGFSP) was released by the end of July. At which time copies of the updated Guide can be obtained from the PFIT website: A listing of the changes in the Guide is included at the front of the document to help assist you in identifying what is new.

I would also like to mention the good work that is occurring with gathering information regarding the timing and submission of Woodlot License Plans, Range Stewardship Plans and Range Use Plans in dealing with these licensees unique implementation challenges as they convert over to FRPA as well. Over the next few months, I foresee many of you encountering issues associated with implementing FRPA and/or administering FSPs. To assist you with these issues, PFIT has implemented an issue identification and management process. If you encounter an issue, please contact your Regional I-Team representative to obtain an issue identification form which you would complete and submit through your Regional I-team leader. Contacts can be found in the Terms of Reference on the PFIT website or by contacting the Regional I-Team Leaders: Bill Quinn (NIR), Harry Jennings (SIR) and Chuck Rowan (CR).

The Ministry has recently received a report from the Forest Practices Board regarding our readiness for the FRPA. We acknowledge this report and PFIT is involved in taking actions on addressing the findings and recommendations in the Board’s report which will be communicated to staff once finalized. I did send out a general message about our actions in this regard, a few weeks ago. To help us raise awareness of the FRPA, Public Affairs Branch is working together with divisional staff to prepare and implement a communications plan. Messages will be disseminated shortly through a variety of media. Districts should anticipate questions and comments from your stakeholders in response to these messages. I encourage you to stay active with your stakeholder groups and be proactive in sharing information, answering questions, etc. Please contact your regional implementation member if you have any questions on the communications plan.

Lastly, I am seeing some exciting leadership and culture shift changes throughout the Province. For example, several regional workshops have been conducted, joint with industry, on resolving implementation issues related to FSP 's . This is an excellent example of the way forward. I congratulate everyone on their efforts to-date in the transition to FRPA and encourage you to continue in this direction.

We will have a few busy months ahead as we review plans, amendments and process permits. You have my full support and appreciation for the task ahead. I also wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer and hope everyone takes time to spend with family and friends.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – March 31, 2006 – Tim Sheldon – FRPA Update # 18

Greetings everyone. In FRPA Update # 17, I discussed the culture shift required to successfully implement FRPA. I am seeing excellent progress in the culture shift at the front end of the planning process. This includes licensees, BCTS and district staff meeting and exchanging information early in the planning process as well as jointly looking at submission schedules with realistic timelines. In this update, I’d like to build on the culture shift—specifically in the area of FSP review and approval processes and the associated staff workloads and the necessary support required.

We are progressing quickly through the FRPA transition phase—many FSPs will be submitted for review/approval over the coming months. Several districts are well situated in terms of FSP approvals and I congratulate you for your effort and progress. Other districts are expecting few FSP submissions and should easily be able to handle the review and approval workload. There are also a few districts that will receive more FSP submissions than they can possibly handle—especially if the plans are submitted in the last couple of months of this year.

I, and the three RMTs, encourage all staff in all districts to work together on this potential workload issue. Districts should consider sharing resources to address the workload issue and/or gain experience prior to the actual FSP submissions. Those about to enter the review/approval process should solicit the experience of those who have completed the process. Districts should also ensure they discuss submission schedules and logistics with all licensees in their area to get a good feel for their review/approval workload requirements.

I also encourage district and regional management team meetings to have standing agenda items that review the progress of FRPA implementation and FSP administration in their area. Districts anticipating a large number of FSP submissions should have preparedness plans worked out as soon as possible—identifying potential resourcing requirements and options to address any issues. Districts who anticipate they may encounter resourcing issues should contact regions early and discuss options for support and procedures for requesting additional resources. Districts should also consider how and when to best utilize the resources in headquarters such as tenures and legal expertise. Headquarters has great resources to assist you but will be stretched thin come the end of this year.

PFIT has developed an issue identification and management process to assist you resolve issues associated with the FRPA implementation and FSP administration. To utilize this process, contact your Regional I-Team representative to obtain an issue identification form. Contacts can be found in the Terms of Reference on the PFIT website or by contacting the Regional I-Team Leaders: Bill Quinn (NIR), Harry Jennings (SIR) and Chuck Rowan (CR). Also, remember the helpful tools, checklists, business process maps and other information available in the Administrative Guide for FSPs (AGFSP) and on the PFIT website

As a follow-up to last months note, the brochure for the Public on the FRPA model, titled “Be Heard: Get Involved in Forest Stewardship Review“ is now available at:

Thanks again for all your hard work and your attention to the implementation of FRPA. I am extremely pleased with your progress and look forward to our operations in the FRPA world.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations Division
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – March 20, 2006 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update # 17

Hello everyone. I hope everyone with kids survived spring break week! Thanks for taking the time to read my second FRPA update for 2006.

Before I go on, I want to take a moment to thank you all for an excellent effort in getting us to where we are currently with FRPA implementation. I acknowledge that many of you have still had limited exposure to the details of FRPA but I am confident that as you get more exposure and experience, you will agree with my assessment that FRPA is a significant enough change that it requires an organizational culture shift to successfully implement it. I have addressed this in past communications, but I want to emphasize that to address the culture shift, we need to increase our understanding of FRPA and undertake our activities with the goals of FRPA in mind. We also need to build relationships and promote the FRPA model with licensees at the local level.

One culture shift I see is our effort in the planning process. District personnel will be actively involved with licensees and BCTS at the pre-planning stage— discussing expectations and exchanging information. Our involvement should then reduce significantly during the plan drafting stage and then increase again to review the plan when submitted for approval. I also see more dialogue amongst professionals and increased reliance on information in the non-statutory realm. This will happen as licensees and BCTS develop plans that enable innovation and flexibility to adapt to local conditions while meeting the environmental standards that we expect of everyone. This issue was discussed at some length at joint MoFR/Industry forums in each region in the fall of 2005 and early in 2006.

As an interim step to achieving the vision and goals of FRPA, I encourage staff to continue to work with licensees and BCTS on their first FSP as a learning opportunity for all. We should look for opportunities to streamline the approval process consistent with the vision for FRPA and the provincial model developed by PFIT. Due to the large number of FSPs we are anticipating later this year, we should also assess our workflows and workloads to enable a timely review of submitted plans. We need to ensure they meet the legal requirements outlined in FRPA while relying on professionals preparing and delivering obligations in the plan to manage the risks inherent in planning. This interim approach will help licensees, BCTS and districts work through the administrative details of developing and approving our first FSP(s).

For FRPA to be successful, each FRPA partner needs to fulfill their new roles and responsibilities. It is equally important that we work together, at all levels, to achieve our combined success. We need to increase our efficiencies with this new model and trust each other and the processes we develop so we can avoid “duplication of effort”, “checking the checker” and other drains on resources. We are well down this efficiency path and I would ask you to continue in this direction. I have heard that in some circumstances, the meetings and workshops we promoted in the joint sessions referenced above have either not occurred or have not necessarily had the senior level of attendance that the Industry Vice Presidents and the Ops Div Executive had hoped for. In those instances, I ask that we redouble our efforts to engage with our partners and to work on relationships and the necessary change in work approaches and culture.

I also encourage staff and licensees/BCTS to be proactive in assisting the public, stakeholders and First Nations to understand the FRPA model. The public is a key stakeholder and partner in the FRPA world and we need to assist them in understanding what they will see in an operational plan (e.g., FSP, WLP, RSP/RUP), how they can make effective comments on a plan and what will happen to their comments. To aid in this regard, a brochure for the Public on the FRPA model will be published shortly and I encourage you to make this available to all members of the public.

Culture shift is also about communications and leadership. We will continue to provide information, training and tools to assist you in this regard. Stay tuned to the PFIT website for more information ( Send any questions or concerns your have to your regional I-team representative, or to any of the sub-teams established under PFIT for dealing with all tenures—including major licensees/BCTS, small-scale salvage, community forest licences, woodlot licences and range tenures. Contacts for regional representative and the sub-teams can be found in the updated PFIT Terms of Reference—available on the PFIT website.

Thank you for your efforts in contributing to our goal of making BC’s forest sector a strong contributor to the provincial economy and I know you’ll continue the commitment and transition to making FRPA successful.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – Feb 10, 2006 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #16

Hello again everyone. Thanks for opening my first of a number of updates planned for 2006.
With just under 11 months to go in the first phase of transitioning to FRPA, I would like to remind you of my commitment, and the commitment of all government ministries in cooperation with the forest industry to the successful implementation of FRPA. We all have a stake in making this legislative model work and I am convinced that it will. I have been working with the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT), the focal point for FRPA implementation, to prepare for the year ahead. This communication covers some our activities and plans for PFIT.

Firstly, I want to thank Bill Quinn for his hard work, dedication and leadership over his two year term as Chair of PFIT. I also welcome Charlie Western as our new PFIT Chair. I encourage your support to Charlie and the rest of PFIT.

I am excited with the progress PFIT has been making. We have reviewed and revised the PFIT terms of reference to be sure it aligns with the task ahead. PFIT are finalizing an “Action Plan for Success” outlining activities that will be undertake to facilitate a successful transitioning of FRPA. My future communications will go into this plan in more detail, however I feel its worth reminding everyone of the following:

  1. the importance of being prepared for the wave of FSP's expected during the remainder of this year ahead by having a well understood FSP administrative process in place at the local level. This builds on the work that we have done during the joint industry/FS "Culture change" workshops.

  2. Administration bulletin # 1 - FSP First Nations Information Sharing

  3. the recently released Administrative bulletin #3 - Interpretative Guidance respecting FSP questions, and

  4. the revised AGFSP on the website, as a valuable aids in writing and approving FSP's.

PFIT has also recently completed the “Tips for Your First FSP”—a compilation of suggestions and lessons learned from a joint industry/government workshop. A worthy read for anyone involved, or preparing to be involved, in their first FSP. All of these products are available on the PFIT website.
Please contact your PFIT Regional Implementation Team if you have any questions, comments or concerns. The contacts are Bill Quinn (Northern Interior), Dave McBeth (Southern Interior) and Chuck Rowan (Coast).

The PFIT website will be a key communications vehicle in our transition to the FRPA world. I encourage you to visit early and often for information, updates and tools to assist you implement FRPA.

I look forward to working with all of you in the year ahead. Stay tuned for my next communication covering the culture shift that I see as necessary in the transition to FRPA. Have a good weekend, all.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – April 28, 2005 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #15

Greetings everyone. This is the first Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) update for 2005 and, with stability in legislative change, there is starting to be significant activity in the development and submission of forest stewardship plans (FSPs) in all areas of the province. This activity is not without it's challenges but the implementation team has been working very diligently trying to identify the issues as they emerge and determine actions, activities or tools that are most appropriate to deal with them.

To that end, I am pleased to announce the start of the public PFIT Implementation Website at:

The site contains the PFIT Terms of Reference, previous Executive Communications and links to various web sites that contain material useful to those either preparing or reviewing FSPs. Some items of note are the Administrative Guide to FSP's, the District Objectives Matrices and FSP Information Support Project.

The site, and it's many products, are a living project with items updated as legislation changes, as new information or tools become available and as we learn more moving from a prescriptive world into a results based world.

I would invite everyone on this distribution to please pass this information on to your staff, licensees and public clients so they are able to take advantage of any information or tools the site has available as we move into this exciting environment of results based legislation. Thank you.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – Dec. 23, 2004 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #14

Greetings everyone. This will be the last update from me for 2004 but I believe were moving into 2005 on a positive note. The big news is that the regulation changes for the Forest Planning & Practices (FPPR), Government Actions (GAR), Administrative Remedies, Security for Forest & Range Practices & Liabilities and the Woodlot Planning & Practices (WPPR) Regulations have been deposited and are in effect as of December 13, 2004. These changes represent a tremendous amount of work by our Bilateral Policy Negotiating Team supported by staff in Forest Practices Branch and Operations Division. These people reviewed countless drafts and provided input back into the system and they deserve our vote of thanks for their efforts. The good news is should provide regulation stability for a year to allow us an opportunity to implement the legislation without continual changes. We can use that time and experience to determine what improvements are necessary to ensure a more efficient, effective legislative package. The coming in force of the regulations also brings into force a number of sections of Bill 33 passed in the spring of 2004. You can also anticipate some changes in January for the Woodlot and Range Practices Regulations.

A very important aspect of implementation is a full extension of transition. This requires a change to the Act and so must go before the legislature. It is hoped this will make it in the spring package scheduled prior to the election. A portion of the FPPR was altered to allow for the submission of forest development plans up to the end of December, 2005 (in addition to the already provided for amendment provisions) with an opportunity to submit permits under those plans in 2006.

Some of the key changes being implemented are:

  • A move to certified contents within a forest stewardship plan submission. The certified contents are limited to:
    • Mapping

    • Measures for invasive plants and natural range barriers

    • Stocking standards – limited to free growing height

    • Results and strategies for visual quality objectives

  • The timing of when various types objectives come into force

  • Changes to both the various objectives found in sections 5 to 10 of the FPPR

  • Conditional exemptions from results & strategies

  • Specifics for minor salvage operations

  • The development of consolidated site level plan to manage for free growing obligations

Given te level of change and the amount of regulation changes, there will be a training package delivered in March. The joint industry/agency/association training team is up and running. They’ve heard the feedback from last years sessions and you can anticipate a one-half to one day session delivered by real people so it will be fairly interactive. Moving to this type of delivery means training won’t be able to take place in every district location but approximately ten locations throughout the province are being targeted for delivery. More details will follow after in the New Year.

On the FSP front, there is one FSP submitted for approval in the Chilliwack and one for the Arrow/Boundary. There are four being advertised in the Prince George TSA and one on the Island. All have their review and comment periods ending soon. We also know of a number who are doing expectations meetings with the delegated decision maker. In addition, a continuous improvement project was initiated with the Prince George, Vanderhoof and Fort St. James Forest Districts dealing with how districts interact when there is a multi-district FSP being submitted. This information package will be made available to regions early in the New Year.

More information will be made available over the next few weeks on the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) website (

From myself, PFIT and those involved in the legislation development, have a relaxing and safe holiday season and stay tuned for more updates in the New Year.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – Oct 20, 2004 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #13

Greetings everyone. I trust everyone had a great summer. It probably seems like a distant memory now as staff are back and working hard.

The summer was very busy for our FRPA policy team and others developing regulations to put into effect our changes to FRPA passed in Bill 33 in the spring. The changes will also tighten up the legislation to fix some of the gaps identified in the Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP) pilot processes and other implementation activities as we make progress in understanding and implementing the new legislation. This legislative session is already fully committed in terms of it's schedule with a number of Bills. As such, Legislative Counsel has been very busy with numerous bills that require their attention. This has taken away from their ability to address our regulation amendments as quickly as we'd originally hoped. As such, those it is anticipated those changes will not take effect until close to Christmas.

The Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) has also been busy trying to finalize the format of the Objectives Matrix and working with districts to have them completed and available to those involved with preparing FSP's. I understand some of those are up on district web sites but we've still a bit of work ahead of us to get them there. Links will be developed shortly on the PFIT GWW site ( to those FTP sites as they become available. I would encourage everyone to add this very important website to your favourites.

In addition to legislative changes, the first FSP in the province was approved in early summer. I would like to recognize the efforts of Rick Manwaring, the delegated decision-maker (DDM) for the Kalum Forest District and the district staff, in the review and approval of the FSP submitted by Timber Baron Forest Products Ltd. We now have one major licensee working under the FRPA regime. We also have another FSP that has completed the review and comment phase and another half way through that phase. In addition, there are two to three more, that we're aware, going to advertising shortly.

What I'd like to speak to today is the planning function of FRPA with an emphasis on wildlife. Some of you may have noticed or may have participated in some meetings organized by WLAP dealing with Section 7 of the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation (FPPR) notices. The Minister of WLAP, last spring, signed off an order identifying 39 species at risk for the purposes of FRPA. This was step one of the process (sec. 7(2)(a), FPPR). In order to ensure that licensees are required to write results or strategies consistent with the wildlife objective in their FSP's, step 2 of the process must also be completed (sec. 7(2)(b), FPPR).

Step 2 entails making a notification about the indicators of the amount, distribution and attributes regarding those 39 species mentioned above. What WLAP has done is developed some draft notices, put them out for review and then convened meetings with licensees and other agencies, where available, to gather input on these notices. The next step in the process is to take that information from the meetings, make adjustments they feel are necessary and then ask their minister to approve them. If and when he does, the requirements of section 7 of the FPPR have been met and licensees, when submitting FSP, will be required to include results and strategies that are consistent with the wildlife objective.

The above work identified is particularly important where there are no higher level plans approved by government or areas such as ungulate winter ranges, wildlife habitat areas (WHA's) or general wildlife measures (GWM's) which trigger the requirement for a result or strategy dealing with wildlife. It is anticipated that, over time, as winter ranges, WHA's and GWM's are legally identified, then section 7 requirements will become minimal.

Thanks for reading this update. I hope that you all continue to derive benefit from this information. I would encourage you to provide feedback through Bill Quinn, Chair of PFIT on the information, style and utility of these notes. Until next time…

Update on FRPA Activities – June 30, 2004 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #12

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since our last FRPA update, and as a result more changes have occurred and FRPA continues to evolve. The C&E training module has been completed along with the delivery of the Range module in the Southern Interior Region and the Northeast area of the Northern Interior Region. Additional deliveries for the Range Module are being anticipated in the other areas of the Northern Interior Region at a later date. The public module has been scheduled for it’s first delivery simultaneously in five locations throughout the province. The Forestry Continuing Studies Network delivered the two-hour public module sessions in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Nelson, Prince George and Vancouver on June 29th at 7:00 p.m. This information can now be downloaded from the FRPA training website and delivered locally by districts.

You can look for training on the Administrative Guide for FSP’s (available at to start occurring in the fall. The sessions are to be delivered by a regional representative who has attended the recent train-the-trainer session.

Another item of consequence is the passing of Bill 33 by the Legislature in May. This legislation had impacts on both the Forest Act and FRPA. The main changes to FRPA include:

  • correct drafting errors that yielded unintended consequences;

  • provide a mechanism for the Minister to move toward increased professional reliance (the next update will speak to this point); and,

  • allow ministers in other agencies similar delegating powers as those allowed the Minister of Forests.

My last update said that we would talk about how we are going to measure success for FRPA implementation. Please indulge me in deferring that to a future update. In this update, I would like to discuss highlights of the findings from the FSP Pilot Workshop in late April.

On April 27th, the PFIT met with representatives of the pilots (both the licensees and districts involved), for a 'Share the Learnings' workshop. The objectives were:

  • to understand the key learnings of those involved in the FSP pilots and

  • share those learnings with others in the process of developing or reviewing FSP’s.

Some of the overall messages that were taken away from the workshop were:

  • the FSP pilots have been up and running to various degrees and are now moving into implementation mode in 2 of the 3 pilot areas;

  • if no objectives are in place, we can expect minimum content in FSP’s being submitted. With the success of the FRPA model being dependent on having government objectives, orders, etc. in place, those devices that are almost ready need to be put through the system on a high priority so they will be utilized by the FSP proponents;

  • there is still a significant differences in the understanding of what is “measurable and verifiable” and this will require more discussion between government and industry

  • the culture shift required by both agencies and licensees is significant. The level of detail that reviewing staff used to see when reviewing FDP’s is no longer there. The new process means carrying out reviews at a much higher level.

  • While agencies and licensees have major culture shifts in moving to the FRPA model, do not underestimate the culture shift that both the public and First Nations are required to make. Both licensees and agencies need to pay attention to this.

The above provides just an overview of what was heard. I am attaching a summary of the proceedings, which highlight the learnings, outcomes and some issues that PFIT are working to resolve. If you have any questions regarding the FSP learnings, I urge you to contact your PFIT representative - whose names, along with a variety of information about the team, it’s products and critical links, can be found on the newly established PFIT intranet website

Have a safe, happy summer and please be sure to include some family and 'down' time in your summer work schedule.


Update on FRPA Activities – March 26, 2004 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #11

Hello again everyone. It’s been a while since my last FRPA update (although I know three have been several emails from me on other matters lately!!) and a lot has happened in the FRPA world. The module sessions were delivered in 32 locations to more than 4,000 attendees. There have been “Question & Answer” Sessions completed over a three week period and there is a proposal to complete a similar activity in the fall. The “Question & Answer” website is up and running and it’s my understanding that there are now over 100 pages of questions. I would ask that staff be patient with the answers, the experts have full time jobs also so they’re getting to them as fast as possible. The range module has begun delivery in the Southern Interior Region and the module will be in the north later in the spring. The C&E module sessions have started and will be completed by the end of March. There is also more delegated decision maker training scheduled for April and May.

I would like to extend my appreciation to the training facilitators and support staff who worked so hard to ensure that these sessions were as successful and ran as smoothly as they did.

In my last update I mentioned I’d provide a bit more detail about the tools being developed to help staff as we move to the implementation of FRPA. Some of these key tools are:

Administrative Guide to FSP’s:

This guide has been developed by Forest Tenures Branch in conjunction with the Provincial Implementation Team (PFIT). It is a living document in that it will continually be updated as new information becomes available. Some of the key contents include a proposed FSP Business Process as developed by PFIT. It also goes one step further and illustrates a localized district review process of a FSP submission as developed by the Campbell River Forest District in support of the Western/Doman FSP Pilot. This localized process is available for other districts to use as a starting point for developing their own efficient review process.

The guide also provides hints, tips and suggestions to those trying to understand the legislation relative to preparing FSP’s. It is now available internally at When a more complete review is completed, it will then be updated and used as a training tool in June, so stay tuned for that training. At that point it will be available for wider distribution.

Objectives Matrices

These matrices are essentially a spreadsheet developed in conjunction with WLAP and MSRM that identify, relative to the legislation, within a TSA or district, the legal objectives and other considerations that have been developed or are available. A 1st draft of most district matrices have been completed. Some district staff have been discussing them with their local licensees for feedback and to ensure completeness. This is just another tool that those preparing FSP’s or reviewing FSP’s can utilize in carrying out their tasks. There is a contract right now to help improve the presentation of the matrix so sometime in May, final products would be available on FTP sites so those preparing or reviewing FSP’s will have access to these tools.

FSP Pilot:

As you may have heard, three FSP pilots, one in each region, were started last year. Their purpose was to help identify key learnings that could be passed on to others preparing FSP’s. Each pilot is at different stages for a variety of reasons but PFIT will be hosting the pilot licensees and respective districts for a one day workshop at the end of April to present their learnings from both a licensee and agency perspective. This information will be developed into a available to licensees and agency staff to assist in preparing or reviewing FSP’s

I look forward to facing these challenges together with our sister agencies and with industry as we move to full FRPA implementation over the coming 21 months.

My next update will discuss how we are gong to measure our success in implementing FRPA. Have a good weekend everyone!

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – February 2, 2004 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #10

Greetings all. Well it's finally here. On January 31, 2004, the regulations to support the Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA) were brought into effect. Firstly, I would like to congratulate and thank the many people in our organization and our colleagues in other agencies that have worked so hard on this initiative and have made many personal sacrifices to get us to this point. With that said, in this update, I'd like to highlight what's been going on behind the scenes to assist with FRPA implementation.

In my previous FRPA Updates I have tried to convey:

  • FRPA's importance to both government and industry;

  • the significant cultural and business process evolution it will necessitate; and

  • the importance of a coordinated approach to implementation from the three partner agencies.

In this update I'd like to focus on the plan for implementation province-wide. As many of you know, the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) is an interagency team tasked with developing an implementation plan to ensure our successful and consistent implementation of FRPA. PFIT recommended focusing our initial efforts on developing the tools and processes required to support Forest Stewardship Plans (FSPs), compliance and enforcement (C&E), and agency change management.

Using an interagency project management structure that linked PFIT to Regional Implementation Teams, mapping teams, training teams, drafting teams and the existing agency structures, PFIT's various mechanisms (i.e. FSP pilots) are able to assess FRPA and identify potential implementation challenges. Staff at all levels of the three agencies were then utilized to propose tools, processes, legislation changes and training required to address these challenges.

The resulting implementation plans are dynamic and at various levels of detail. For example the overview implementation plan describes many of the components in a general fashion. It outlines the general timelines, tools and processes essential to prepare the partner agencies for FRPA implementation. This overview implementation plan is a snapshot in time and we expect that the tools and process that it represents will continue to evolve. In addition, there are numerous supporting plans that detail our implementation of the various components of the overview plan.

Recognizing our desire to facilitate continuous improvement, a management process has been developed to ensure key success factors are monitored and adjusted as required. The monitoring will be carried out by the appropriate staff. For example, as FSPs become operational, regional and district staff administering FSPs will monitor the business and management processes supporting FSPs, and the local objective matrices developed.

Some recent FRPA progress by PFIT includes:

  • delivery of Objectives Matrix Workshops in all 3 MOF regions

  • Objectives matrices have been regionalized and their 1st drafts completed

  • Delegated Decision Maker (DDM) Workshops have been delivered to agency managers in the regions and Victoria

  • The provincial FSP business process has been localized to a district level (in draft format) in the Coast FSP pilot

  • The C&E Overview Team has started developing tools to help C&E staff carry out their duties under FRPA

  • An Administrative Guide to FSP's (AGFSP) has been developed for initial release in mid-February. This is living document which will be updated as new information becomes available or is required. It will serve an equivalent function as does the Administration of Forest Operational Plans (AFOP) under the Forest Practices Code.

In my next Update, I will describe in more detail some of the tools being developed and identify the web site where the implementation plans and tools may be found.

Thank you for your ongoing support...

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – December 29, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #9

Good morning everyone...I hope that this note finds many desks empty at this time of year and that most of you are enjoying some well deserved time off with families and loved ones. For those of you that are in the office, and the rest after your return, here is my next FRPA implementation update. As you will recall, in my previous 8 FRPA Updates I have tried to convey:

  • the Forest and Range Practices Act's (FRPA's) importance to both government and industry;

  • the significant cultural and business process evolution it will necessitate; and

  • the importance of the three partner agencies adopting a coordinated approach to FRPA implementation.

In this FRPA Update I'd like to respond to some of the concerns I've heard about the Ministry's evolving C&E role.

As I've mentioned in previous updates, C&E is one of the FRPA pillars. For FRPA to be successful we will need to maintain a strong credible C&E program strategically adapted to the new FRPA construct. The Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) and our C&E Leadership Team (CELT) have established a C&E Overview Team charged with reviewing FRPA and recommending an implementation strategy to both support our C&E staff and to facilitate this adaptation of our C&E program.

The C&E Overview Team is comprised of representatives from C&E Branch, all three regions, and the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP). These representatives are a good cross section of our C&E organization (District C&E Forester, district Compliance Leader, District Field Operations Supervisor, Regional Special Investigations Unit Officer, Regional C&E Manager, Regional C&E Leader, a Branch Manager and a WLAP CO Manager), and have significant C&E experience.

To date this team has reviewed the Act and Regulations, identified priority issues, and developed a proposed action plan designed to implement FRPA from a C&E perspective and to address the identified issues. I expect the resulting products will be vetted through C&E staff and senior management in the near future. Some of the components include:

  • a vision;

  • an implementation strategy that details the development of additional tools and training information C&E staff will require; and

  • a communication plan.

I am confident that this team's work will support the continued evolution of our C&E program. This evolution has two primary components:

  • an ongoing shift to a program independent enough to maintain enforcement agency credibility, while balancing the efficiencies associated with being integrated within operations, and

  • a shift required by FRPA that will necessitate a change in focus: from a model where our focus was on compliance with detailed prescriptions and enforcement used to promote compliance (C&E); to a model where our focus is on enforcement actions when required results and strategies are not achieved, and compliance is supported by professional accountability (C&E).

I hope this update has given you a little insight into the FRPA evolution of our C&E program and how we are managing it.

I hope that everyone had a restful and Merry Christmas and look forward to a happy, healthy new year!

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – November 28, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #8

Good morning everyone, as you remember, I used FRPA Update #7 to respond to some specific questions staff posed regarding “what will happen the day FRPA is brought into force?” and “what has been done to ensure that we are ready for FRPA?”.

In this Update, I'd like to describe for you two supporting mechanisms that will form the foundation for FRPA's three pillars. These supporting mechanisms - which are essential but not explicitly contained in FRPA legislation are:

  • effectiveness evaluations, and

  • professional reliance.

Effectiveness Evaluations

Provincially, a FRPA resource evaluation program has been established. It's goal is to ensure the timely and efficient evaluation of FRPA's effectiveness in facilitating stewardship of the province's forest and range resource values. This cooperative effort involves WLAP, MOF's three regions, and three of MOF's branches (Forest Practices, Research, and RTEB).

Through the resulting evaluation process, we will be able to identify issues regarding the implementation of forest policies, practices, and legislation, and promote the continuous improvement of forest stewardship in BC. To date, executive sponsor Larry Pedersen has approved the program charter, and the team has started identifying and prioritizing issues for each of the 11 FRPA values. They have also developed and tested indicators for soil, riparian and stand level biodiversity. You can expect more detail on their progress in an upcoming newsletter and a website they are currently developing.

At a local level, agency stewardship staff (MOF, WLAP) will monitor forest practices and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving government objectives. This will provide valuable information that will help us assess the effectiveness of our objectives, and support Delegated Decision-Makers (DDMs) in the assessment of licensee-proposed results and strategies.

Professional Reliance
The second supporting mechanism that makes up FRPA's foundation is the professional reliance mechanism. This mechanism entails relying on the judgement of professionals to design, prescribe and assess the appropriate measures required to achieve government's objectives. Professional associations (Association of BC Forestry Professionals, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, BC Institute of Agrologists, College of Applied Biology) will ensure accountability and have partnered with government to strengthen their professional legislation. These associations are also developing internal training, policies and procedures that support FRPA's increased reliance on professionals.

Note that our FRPA training scheduled for February will include a module dedicated to professional reliance.

Some other progress on our FRPA front include:

  • Agency staff in all three regions met over the last week or so to set the stage for communicating government's objectives using the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team's (PFIT) objectives matrix tool. Key staff from all three agencies are now localizing this important implementation tool

  • The Northern Interior Region held it's DDM Overview Session with PFIT representatives this week. These sessions are designed to provide DDMs and key staff with information that will support our implementation of FRPA, and provide PFIT with operational feedback on their implementation plans, processes and tools.

  • The Coast Forest Region held its DDM Overview Session a few weeks ago and the Southern Interior Region session will be held in Kamloops on December 2nd.
    On the FRPA training front, training dates and locations are being finalized, district leads are completing logistical arrangements, and work is ongoing on our development of the 11 training modules we plan to facilitate.

In my next Update, I will describe our PFIT and the project management structure we are using to support our implementation of FRPA. In the meantime, thank you for your interest in these updates. A special thank you to those staff in the three agencies currently engaged in our implementation efforts, particularly those agency staff now working to localize our FRPA objective matrix tool.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – November 7, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #7

In FRPA Update # 6 I discussed the roles and responsibilities of the FRPA partners, and suggested that I would use FRPA Update #7 to discuss how we are coordinating our implementation efforts. I still plan on addressing this topic, but I'd like to deal with it in a future update and use this one to explore a topic many of you have asked me about lately.

Judging from the responses I receive and the feedback Field Services Management Team and the provincial FRPA implementation team receive, many of you are happy with these updates and our efforts to prepare for FRPA, but would like to know what to expect in the shift to FRPA.

Specifically you would like to know:

  • What will happen the day FRPA is brought into force?

  • Are we ready for it?

What will happen the day FRPA is brought into force?

While FRPA will be a significant change from the Forest Practices Code, the impact of that change will be felt over a manageable transition period. This transition period started last December with Bill 75 and will continue to the end of 2005. An example of the transition that has already occurred with Bill 75 is the elimination of the requirement for new silviculture prescriptions (SPs). District staff have already adapted their business processes to accommodate the lack of SPs. For example district C&E staff have adjusted their compliance inspection processes to accommodate the absence of information previously provided in SPs.

Much of the change still to come will also be phased in over time. For example, we will see a significant change as we move from Forest Development Plans to Forest Stewardship Plans (FSPs). Staff reviewing and approving FSPs will have a new role with new tests to consider. Monitoring staff will need to facilitate effectiveness evaluations. C&E staff inspecting FSPs will see their role evolve to one of ensuring compliance with the results and strategies contained in approved FSPs. While the transition to FSPs will obviously necessitate significant change, we will work with licensees and our partner agencies to coordinate our efforts and facilitate a smooth, efficient transition by the December 2005 deadline.

Are we ready for it?

I know staff are concerned about the multitude of implementation tasks ahead of them, but given our best assessment of priorities and resources available, I am confident in our ability to manage the change that is FRPA.

Having said that, there is a lot we need to do to ensure our success:
The FRPA partners need to maintain their commitment to preparation and implementation;

  • We need to finalize and implement the tools and business processes we've been developing (i.e. the objective matrix and its district localization (see FRPA Update 3), and FSP submission schedules);

  • We need to continue to explore our implementation plans and look for opportunities to improve these plans (i.e. C&E Overview Team); and

  • We need to individually explore FRPA and understand how it will impact our jobs (i.e. read updates ( ) participate in PFIT initiatives, participate in FRPA training (Feb 10-March)).

So, while FRPA will necessitate significant change that we can't afford to underestimate, this change will occur over a reasonable transition period. Additionally, I am confident that we have the people and processes in place to successfully implement FRPA, however we need to pull together and work hard between now and FRPA coming into force to be adequately prepared.

In my next Update I'd like to apprise you of some supporting mechanisms such as effectiveness evaluations and professional reliance that form the foundation for the three pillars supporting FRPA.

Thanks for your continued interest in our FRPA progress.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – November 2, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #6

Good afternoon everyone. This is our halloween update!! In my Updates #1 through #5, I described government’s goals in introducing the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), and the overall construct of the FRPA framework. In this Update, I’d like to describe the roles and responsibilities of the FRPA partners, and how we will work together to ensure our shared success.

As with the previous Forest Practices Code, FRPA is a shared responsibility of several partner agencies. The lead agencies responsible for FRPA implementation include the Ministry of Forests (MOF), Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP), and Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM). The success of FRPA will require the co-operation, teamwork and joint effort of all these partner agencies.

The three agencies share accountability for government’s four main roles in FRPA:

  • Objective setting: MOF, WLAP and MSRM each have various responsibilities for setting objectives to conserve FRPA values (Note: by setting these objectives up front, we achieve government’s desire to reduce the need for plan referrals);

  • Plan approval: MOF will take the lead for plan approval (Note: this achieves government’s desire to have a single point of plan approval);

  • Compliance and enforcement: MOF and WLAP will share the lead for compliance and enforcement (through an interagency MOU); and,

  • Evaluating effectiveness: MOF and WLAP will share the lead for effectiveness evaluations through the provincial FRPA Resource Evaluation Program) with participation from MSRM.

Licensees will develop plans with results and strategies that are consistent with government objectives. They will then be responsible for achieving these results and implementing these strategies.

As FRPA eases the administrative requirements for licensees and government, it increases the reliance on professionals in planning and implementing practices. Professional associations will be responsible for overseeing their professionals (e.g. ensuring professionals act within their scope of practice).

Some recent progress on the FRPA implementation front include:

  • A government website ( developed by the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT). While its still being developed, it currently contains FRPA Updates and other information that might help agency staff prepare for FRPA and stay apprised of our evolving implementation plans. We are also developing an Internet site that will make this information available to our non-agency partners.

  • A workshop for delegated decision-makers was piloted on the Coast, providing valuable feedback which will be used to fine-tune future workshops planned for the other two regions (RNI Nov 25th and RSI - Dec 2nd).

  • A compliance and enforcement overview team with representation from WLAP and all three MOF regions has been formed. This team is tasked with developing tools, processes, and plans to implement the compliance and enforcement aspects of FRPA.

In my next Update I will cover how we are co-ordinating our implementation efforts.

Thanks for your continued interest in our FRPA progress.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – October 20, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #5

Good evening everyone. In Update #3 and Update #4 I described the first two pillars supporting the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). I described these first two pillars as the “objectives set by government” and “operational plans”. In this update I'd like to focus on “compliance and enforcement” (C&E), the third and final pillar supporting the new FRPA, and touch on our Provincial FRPA Implementation Team's (PFIT's) proposed strategy for supporting the evolution of our FRPA C&E regime.

Government has made it clear that they expect a “tough compliance and enforcement regime that includes both prosecution and administrative remedies”. The achievement of this goal will be critical to the successful implementation of the FRPA. Recognizing the resource limitations we are faced with we will need to ensure C&E staff in both the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP) and the Ministry of Forests understand and are prepared for their new roles. We will also need to ensure we facilitate a careful analysis of risk and that we prioritize the use of our C&E resources accordingly. Under FRPA our primary C&E role will evolve to assessing compliance and enforcing the results and strategies (default or licensee proposed) contained in approved operational plans; and other requirements contained within the Act and regulations.

Our ability to be successful in this new role will depend largely on our ability to ensure licensee proposed results and strategies are both “measurable and verifiable”.

To ensure we are able to implement the C&E pillar of FRPA successfully, PFIT and our C&E Leadership Team (CELT) have facilitated the development of a C&E overview team. This C&E overview team, which is comprised of WLAP representatives and C&E staff from all levels of our C&E organization, will review FRPA and propose the processes, tools and training required to support successful implementation. It is my expectation that this team will both solicit input and feedback from all C&E staff, as well as maintaining a link with senior managers.

Having used the last five updates to describe the basic FRPA construct, I will use the next couple of updates to discuss the principles and roles that will be key to our successful achievement of our FRPA goals.

Before I sign off I'd like to quickly update you on some of the current FRPA progress.

Bill 69 (the amended FRPA) passed third reading in the house on October 8, 2003. Note that it still requires the regulations to be passed before it comes into force.

The FRPA training dates have now been set and you can expect recorded sessions to start February 10, 2004.

We will pilot our Delegated Decision-Maker sessions in the Coast Forest Region on October 21, 2003. The remaining regions will follow soon after.

Thanks for your continued support.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – October 9, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #4

Good afternoon. As you will recall, in my October 1st FRPA Update, I described the “objectives” pillar the first of the three pillars supporting the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). In this update I'd like to explain the second element or “pillar” (operational planning) and the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team's (PFIT's) proposed strategy for implementing Forest Stewardship Plans.

Clearly, FRPA requires licensees (and Timber Sales Managers) to develop operational plans (Forest Stewardship Plans, Woodlot License Plans, Range Use Plans, and Range Stewardship Plans). The most common of these is a Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP). An FSP will have a term not exceeding 5 years and will need to comply with provincial standards and describe the results or strategies a licensee proposes in relation to government objectives. Licensees can propose their own results or strategies, or use government's default results and strategies, but they must ensure their results and strategies are both measurable and verifiable (enforceable).

By developing their own results and strategies, licensees will gain the freedom to explore new methodologies. Key values are protected by the requirement to maintain consistency with government objectives. As with our current FDPs, FSPs undergo First Nations consultation, and public review before approval by government.

To ensure FSPs can be successfully implemented, PFIT has facilitated a number of FSP pilots. These pilots have enabled both the agencies and the licensees involved to develop and test tools and processes that will help us when FRPA is operational. While these tools and processes are still draft in nature, we plan to have them ready in time to support implementation.

In my next update I will focus on the third and final pillar (C&E) of the three pillars supporting the Forest and Range Practices Act, but before I sign off I'd like to quickly update you on some progress from a previous update. If you recall, in FRPA Update #2 I mentioned that staff across the three regions had reviewed the latest draft of the FRPA regulations, and forwarded their review comments to our Operations Division's Legislation and Policy Committee (LPC). Last Wednesday the Chief Forester and I met with our LPC representatives to discuss these review comments and ensure they are represented at the bi-lateral working group tables finalizing the various FRPA regulations. The meeting went very well, and the Chief Forester clearly understood the issues that LPC raised and intended to bring them forward to the bi-lateral process with the industry and also to consider them for review by the Minister and broader government. He and I agreed that there are many pressures involved in building the regulations under FRPA, and the LPC plays an important role in bringing field related issues to the attention of policy makers.

Thanks for reading these updates, and I know everyone is pressed for time and has many issues to deal with in their day to day work, so taking the time to review these notes is appreciated and I think will pay off in the long run as we implement FRPA along with the other policy and legislative initiatives under Government's Forestry Revitalization Plan.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – October 1, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #3

In my September 22nd update (FRPA Update #2), I described our goals for implementing the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the basic framework used to build it. I described this framework as the three pillars (objectives set by government, operational plans and C&E) upon which FRPA is built.

In today's update, I'd like to explain the first pillar (government's objectives) in a little more detail and describe the Provincial FRPA Implementation Team's (PFIT's) proposed strategy for implementing this pillar.

FRPA enables government to set objectives for certain key values, including soils, visual quality, timber, forage, water, fish, wildlife, biodiversity, recreation, cultural heritage, and designated resource features. These objectives can be set in a number of ways and once established drive the results and strategies in licensee operational plans. Note that while the objectives themselves are not enforceable under FRPA these licensee proposed results and strategies as approved in an operational plan are enforceable.

To ensure the objectives pillar is successfully implemented, PFIT has developed a process and a tool (Objective Matrix) for cataloguing and prioritizing these objectives. PFIT will be facilitating a number of Objective Matrix Workshops where regional and district staff from the three agencies will learn about the objective pillar and localize the provincial matrix template provided.

The resulting localized Objectives Matrices will be used:

  • by government to prioritize the development of new objectives;

  • by licensees to guide operational plan development; and

  • by delegated decision makers (e.g. district managers) to assess the results and strategies proposed in operational plans.

I expect these workshops to be facilitated within the next month. Staff involved will be supplied with additional information prior to the workshops.

My next update will focus on the second of the three pillars (operational planning).

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – September 22, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #2

In my September15th update (FRPA Update #1), I indicated I would be providing you with more detail regarding the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and its implementation. In this update, I'd like to describe our goals in implementing FRPA, explain the framework on which it is built and provide you with a brief update on our progress in preparing for its implementation.

The implementation of FRPA is intended:

  • to strengthen industry's competitiveness and freedom to manage, as well as government's C&E regime;

  • to maintain our timber supply, our high environmental standards; and the balance between social, economic and environmental values; and

  • to reduce both complexity and administrative costs.

FRPA is built upon a framework of three supporting pillars.

  1. The first pillar is comprised of government's objectives such as those that will be described in the upcoming regulations.

  2. The second pillar is composed of the operational plans developed by licensees. These include Forest Stewardship Plans, Woodlot License Plans, Range Use Plans, and Range Stewardship Plans.

  3. The third and final pillar is our Compliance and Enforcement regime.

Since my last update Forest Service staff across the three Regions have been engaged in reviewing the latest draft of the FRPA regulations, and those review comments have been collated by Operations Division's Legislation and Policy Committee (LPC). LPC has presented these comments to the Field Services Management Team and is currently planning a session with the Chief Forester to go over the resulting comments in order to assist the bi-lateral working groups as they make their final changes to the various regulations.

In future updates I will elaborate on the pillars described above, our strategy for implementing them, and continue to update you on our ongoing preparations for the implementation of FRPA.

Thanks for your ongoing assistance in getting the Division ready for FRPA implementation!

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – Sept 15, 2003 – Tim Sheldan – FRPA Update #1

As the Chief Forester, Larry Pedersen, indicated in his July 17th e-mail, the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) is currently intended to be brought into force by the new regulations later this year. Successful implementation will necessitate that staff in the three implementing agencies understand FRPA and the changes associated with it, and that we are collectively committed to making FRPA a success.

In an effort to ensure that MOF is adequately prepared, I will be sending out a series of e-mails (FRPA Updates) outlining what FRPA will mean, how we have prepared for its implementation, and what we can do to ensure its success.

For now, I will update you on just a few of the activities regarding preparation for implementation:

  • The Forest and Range Practices Advisory Council (PAC) has been meeting over the summer and is expected to provide advice on the regulations to the Minister by the end of September. For more information on the PAC, please see the following website:

  • The interagency Provincial FRPA Implementation Team (PFIT) is continuing to refine the tools and processes we will require to ensure successful implementation. Pilots in several areas are currently testing these tools and processes, with a view to consistent application wherever appropriate.

  • Training is expected to follow in the spring.

I will provide you with more detailed information in future FRPA Updates.

Tim Sheldan
Assistant Deputy Minister
Operations and Timber Sales
Ministry of Forests

Update on FRPA Activities – July 17, 2003 – Larry Pedersen

As a follow-up to my June 3rd e-mail on the Forest and Range Practices Act, (available at:!publish/Training/FRPA/) I would like to update you on our progress.

In early July, the drafting team completed a draft of the regulations required to support FRPA. These draft regulations are now undergoing review by a number of groups including: the Minister's new Public Advisory Council and other stakeholders, the MOF Legislation Policy Committee, interagency implementation teams, MOF Business Mapping Team, and various policy specialists in MOF, WLAP, and MSRM.

The Minister's Public Advisory Council is reviewing the draft regulations over the summer and will provide advice to the Minister by the end of September. I am currently chairing this Council and very much looking forward to the important contribution that I know it will make in evaluating forest practices policy and providing timely, quality advice to the Minister.

Over the last few months, the interagency Provincial Implementation Team facilitated three Forest Stewardship Plan pilots. The results of the pilots will be synthesized provincially to assist in managing the consistent implementation of FRPA across the province. The I-Team is developing a number of tools to assist in implementation. Details of these tools will be outlined in subsequent communications material.

I anticipate that the FRPA will be brought into force by the new regulations late this year. Training will follow in January and February of 2004.

Information on the FRPA implementation plan will be coming out regularly from Tim Sheldan in the next weeks and months.

In the interim, you can find more background on the FRPA website

Thank you for your ongoing support of this key initiative.

Larry P. Pedersen, R.P.F.
Assistant Deputy Minister
Chief Forester

FRPA Timelines Adjusted – Larry Pedersen – June 3, 2003

When the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) was passed last fall, it was known that the Act would require further changes and additions as it did not contain all of the necessary transition provisions and a number of implementation issues were outstanding at the time. Our original plan was to seek passage of the amendments and then bring the Act into force this spring with the completion of the associated regulations.

By now you are probably aware that Bill 69, containing the amendments to the FRPA was tabled in the house last week. However, due to the very heavy legislative agenda, not all of the bills tabled towards the end of the session could be dealt with. Since the house has now risen, Bill 69 will not be debated or considered for passage until the fall sitting of the legislature which runs from early October to late November.

Since it was not passed this spring as originally hoped, we have had to revise the overall project plan and I am writing to update you on the adjustments that we have made to the implementation timelines.

This new timeline will of course affect the timing of FRPA training. We are developing a comprehensive training program for over 6,000 resource professionals, license holders, cattlemen, and woodlot operators so they can work effectively under the new legislative framework. That training will now begin in January 2004.

While the delay is unfortunate, we can use the additional time to maximum advantage. For example, in addition to the existing internal review processes, we will also be establishing a Minister's public advisory council (PAC) to provide an opportunity for broad parties of interest to provide advice to the Minister on the development of the regulations. The Council is expected to be formed in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, a lot of work is going into the development of draft regulations that are consistent with, and reflect, the intent of the FRPA and the Bill 69 amendments. These draft products will be reviewed by the Council over the summer months and in the fall we expect much interaction with PAC before the regulations are finalized. The new timelines and process steps should lead to the Act being brought into force immediately following the passage of Bill 69.

Thank you for your patience as we work to complete the development phase
of this important new initiative. If you have any questions, please contact either myself or Ralph Archibald at Forest Practices Branch.

Larry P. Pedersen, R.P.F.
Assistant Deputy Minister
Chief Forester