Bewerbungsbilder, bewerber, arbeiter, mitarbeiter,Hot on the heels of another successful annual general meeting, PFLA wasted no time getting back to business and moving forward with what we see as a strong mandate and clear direction from the membership.

Consistent with what we heard earlier this spring at the Hometown Meetings, we’re inspired and confident you’ve given us a solid endorsement to focus the organization’s resources on the policy areas most pressing and important to forest owners.

Earlier this week, we met with Minister Thomson—Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO)—to highlight the association’s key concerns. We’re also working with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development because these ministries are involved in regulatory matters that affect our lands as well.

The four focus areas we’ve identified (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Fair Trade for Logs
  • Property Taxation and Succession Planning
  • Provincial Jurisdiction for Forest Management Activities
  • Wildlife Habitat Management

At the federal level, we continue to engage with elected officials and civil servants on similar policy concerns related to international trade, migratory birds and species at risk. Thanks to Chris Lee from the Canadian Association of Forest Owners (CAFO) for his update on federal issues at PFLA’s forestry forum last week.

PFLA works closely with CAFO to ensure B.C.’s forest owners are represented and understood at the federal level and Chris Lee did a great job of outlining the association’s achievements over the past year and highlighting the goals CAFO is working toward in the coming months.

Below you’ll find the key messages PFLA has developed to advocate on behalf of forest owners in the four focus policy areas.

Critical Wildlife Habitat — Crown land first, Compensation and Cooperation

  • PFLA actively promotes and participates in the responsible stewardship of wildlife habitat; however, we encourage government to respect private and productive lands and focus first on Crown land with the least socio-economic significance when looking for wildlife habitat to preserve.
  • As is standard practice when private assets are encumbered to pursue public goals, landowners deserve fair treatment and compensation if it’s necessary to restrict private land use for wildlife habitat purposes.
  • PFLA is also working with all levels of government to better promote the current assessment and planning processes and stand–level practices we have in place to protect wildlife habitat on private forest land.

Fair Trade for Logs—N102 and Log Export Restrictions

  • In a world of increasing costs and complexity, British Columbia needs international log pricing to sustain responsible forest stewardship.
  • To date, BC’s log export restriction policies have fostered a subsidy dependent timber processing sector where domestic log prices are often below what it costs to sustainably produce logs.
  • Free trade in logs and lumber is necessary and inevitable. It’s only a matter of time before our competitors, customers and the international community force B.C. to open up log supplies from private land to free trade. This will have significant consequences for domestic mills if they’re not given sufficient time to adjust and evolve.
  • PFLA is promoting transitional policy measures to achieve the goal of a domestic log market for private forest owners built around international pricing for logs. Initiating transitional measures, at the earliest opportunity, is the most effective means to help BC timber processors adjust and evolve into sustainable, globally competitive businesses.

Property Taxation and Succession Planning

  • Worldwide, societies recognize that carrying costs for land, especially property taxes, have a crucial impact on the viability of forest management as a land use option.
  • Similarly, British Columbia needs a competitive property tax model in order to encourage forest management on private land. The Managed Forest Program is intended to embody this necessary element.
  • There is room for improved clarity in the area of succession planning and the eligibility of smaller properties to enter, or continue to participate in, the program. PFLA is working with all levels of government to achieve this goal.

Provincial Jurisdiction for Forest Management Activities

  • Responsible resource management is the backbone of British Columbia. The province consistently recognizes responsible resource stewardship as a provincial priority.
  • Despite clear provincial jurisdiction, and consistently effective stewardship measures, some local governments have expressed an interest in having more influence over the management of private forest land.
  • In the example of managed forests on Galiano Island, it’s clear the provincial policy intent is to enable forest owners to reside on their land, as every other forest owner can in British Columbia, but the local government is reluctant to recognize the province’s jurisdiction.
  • In addition, despite a positive track record with respect to maintaining water quality, and strong working relationships between owners and water purveyors, some local governments want increased involvement in land use decisions for areas that supply water to their communities.
  • Forest owners are responding to this interest in more local involvement, and ensuring protection of key public environmental values, by educating local governments about how we manage our land, what provincial and federal regulations are already in place and working closely with local governments to identify local values and work together to protect them.