In the Southern Interior Forest Region there are 5 Innovative Forestry Practices Agreement (IFPA) pilot areas: Adams Lake, Arrow, Lignum, Merritt, and Okanagan. Adams Lake and Lignum are single licensee IFPA pilot areas. Arrow, Merritt, and Okanagan IFPA pilot areas involve multiple licensees who work together through formal societies. Innovative Forestry Practices Agreements are awarded under Section 59.1 of the Forest Act to the individual licensees based on application to the Minister of Forests.
Section 59.1 of the Forest Act enables the regional manager to increase the current allowable annual cut associated with the licence of an innovative forestry practices agreement holder. Prior to the regional manager considering an increase, the IFPA-holders must present a forestry plan that identifies the innovative forestry practices and activities that are expected to result in increased productivity on the IFPA pilot area. After approval of the forestry plan, if these practices can be demonstrated to increase timber supply the regional manager may increase the allowable annual cut associated with an IFPA-holder's forest licence. Such demonstration must meet the timber supply methodology standards identified by the chief forester.
Eligible categories of innovative forestry practices and activities include improvements due to harvesting or silvicultural systems, silvicultural treatments, collection and analysis of new data on forest composition and expected growth, and management activities to enhance and protect other resource values.
Under section 59.1 the regional manager can limit an AAC increase to a period of time, area of land, type of timber or any other condition. The regional manager also can reduce or eliminate an increase at any future time given new information or for non-compliance with the forestry plan or the conditions set. Further the regional manager is enabled to suspend or cancel an innovative forestry practices agreement if the holder is not complying with the agreement, forestry plan, conditions, Forest Act, or Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act.