NEWS RELEASE
 

April 30, 1999

 

ROBSON VALLEY LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN APPROVED

VICTORIA – The provincial government has approved the Robson Valley land and resource management plan, which will increase economic and environmental certainty in the Robson Valley area, Environment, Lands and Parks Minister Cathy McGregor announced today.

"Years of hard work by local planning participants has helped develop this plan," said McGregor. "The approved plan will help maintain resource-based jobs for local workers while preserving the environment for future generations."

The plan divides the area into 23 resource management zones, which fall into one of six categories: settlement and agriculture, community watersheds, resource development, general resource management, special management and protected areas.

"This plan enables responsible resource development to occur in about 75 per cent of the planning area, " said Prince George-Mount Robson MLA Lois Boone. "Our government is committed to balancing protection and resource development in the Robson Valley through effective implementation of the plan."

The Robson Valley plan was developed through the work of community groups, industry representatives, environmental representatives, government agencies and interested individuals. Provincial government staff also consulted environmental groups, forest industry and labour representatives to make sure all concerns were considered.

"Local Land and Resource Management Planning participants were asked to make some tough decisions, and they were able to reach agreement in many areas," said Boone. "The approved plan builds on the agreements reached at the planning table and addresses both resource sector and environmental concerns."

The plan provides for continued development of timber harvesting on Crown lands and clarifies which areas are available for timber harvesting in the Robson Valley.

"The economic council of ministers recognizes the importance of the forest industry for workers and their families in the Robson Valley area," said Zirnhelt. "The approved plan builds on the work of the forest action plan and will increase certainty in the resource sector."

Zirnhelt said an enhanced forest management pilot project for the Robson Valley, which was approved recently, would enhance the productivity of forest lands and improve biodiversity conservation.

The pilot project will explore different approaches to forest management, such as ways to increase site productivity, reduce losses to pests and involve communities. Forest Renewal B.C. has provided $383,000 for the pilot project.

The approved Robson Valley plan also establishes 10 new protected areas that will add 69,000 hectares to the province’s protected areas system. New protected areas make up 4.7 per cent of the plan area, for a total of about 20 per cent new and existing protected areas within the Robson Valley area. More than 11 per cent of the province is now protected.

New protected areas include:

  • West Twin, an area rich with wildlife that provides a corridor across the Robson Valley trench;
  • Betty Wendle Creek watershed, an area with scenery, wildlife and recreation features next to Bowron Lakes Provincial Park; and
  • Jackman Flats, an unusual area with sand dunes and unique plants that has intrigued local residents since the early part of the century.

The Robson Valley land and resource management plan is the fourth to be announced this year. More than half of the province is now covered by completed land use plans. Land use plans have been completed for Dawson Creek, Fort St. James, Prince George, Kamloops, Kispiox, Vanderhoof, Bulkley, Vancouver Island, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Kootenay-Boundary, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson.

Editors please note: Backgrounder and map available upon request.

For More Information:

Jacqueline Waldorf,
(250) 356-2116 or
cell (250) 920-6026
Media Relations
Victoria

Jeff Beale,
(250) 569-3700
District Manager
Robson Valley Forest District