In British Columbia, 93.8% of the land base is publicly owned. Approximately 5%, or 4.5 million hectares, is privately owned.
Although private forest land accounts for a small percentage of the province’s land base (2%), it plays a significant role in the lives of British Columbians. Private forests provide communities with:
- Forest resource employment
- Fibre supply
- Tax revenues
- Hiking and recreation
- Quality water supply
- Fish and wildlife habitat
Of the 4.5 million hectares of private land in the province, over 823,000 hectares are classified as managed forest land.
What is Managed Forest Land?
Managed forest land is a BC Assessment property classification established in 1988 to encourage private landowners in British Columbia to manage their lands for long-term forest production.
All managed forest land must be used in accordance with the Private Managed Forest Land Act. Private forest land outside of the Managed Forest Program is not subject to the same regulations.
Landowners who commit to reforestation receive a managed forest property tax assessment status. To obtain this classification, landowners must:
- File a management commitment with the Managed Forest Council
- Provide information on harvesting, road construction and reforestation activities that take place on their lands
- Manage their property in accordance with the Private Managed Forest Land Act and associated regulations
Who Regulates Managed Forest Land?
The Managed Forest Council is an independent provincial agency responsible for the administration of the Managed Forest Program.
The council consists of five members:
- two members appointed by the provincial government
- two members elected by landowners
- one chair person who is jointly appointed by the other four members
To learn more about the Council, or the Managed Forest Program, please visit their website.
Check out the PFLA blog for our 4-part series Managed Forest Fundamentals to learn more about managed forest land in B.C.
Quick Facts about Managed Forest Land in British Columbia
- Of the 2% of land in British Columbia that is private forest land, 51% is managed forest land, 22% is forested farmland and 27% is forested residential.
- There are 263 managed forest properties in B.C.
- Managed forest properties range in size from 3.5 hectares to 166,000 hectares
- Approximately 70% are located on the coast and 30% are in the interior of B.C. (primarily the Kootenays and Okanagan).
- The total area of property in the Managed Forest Program is 822,000 hectares
- 5.2 million cubic metres of timber was harvested from 12,177 hectares in 2014
- In the same year, 9,112 hectares were restocked and 7,961 hectares were regenerated
- Section 31 (3) of the Council Regulation requires owners to reforest harvested areas within five years, but a 2012 audit report found planting is generally completed within one or two years.
If you have any questions about managed forest land, or want to learn more about the Managed Forest Program, please contact the Managed Forest Council.