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General News · 12th December 2012
Rod Bealing
Thanks for your comments and questions, Ian. (December 11, 2012). Hope these answers help.

#1. Yes, Island Timberlands is a member of the Private Forest Landowners Association.

#2. We are not a regulatory agency, but a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the responsible stewardship of BC’s private forest lands. Our primary roles are advocacy and education.

Enforcement of federal, provincial and local government regulations is conducted by a long list of regulatory agencies including: Environment Canada; Fisheries & Oceans Canada; Parks Canada; Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations; The Private Managed Forest Land Council and others.

Although PFLA does not have a legally mandated regulatory role, we strongly encourage and promote regulatory compliance and Best Management Practices (BMPs). We accomplish this by providing both remote and on-the-ground support to forest owners. We also hold practical field workshops that bring together regulatory staff, forest owners, loggers and others involved in private forest management.

#3. The incentive-driven Private Managed Forest Program is modeled after other programs around the world where it’s proven "the carrot is more effective than the stick” in promoting responsible forest stewardship on both Crown and private lands. Basically, owners commit their land to growing and harvesting trees, and protecting key public environmental values, and government encourages further investment in forest stewardship by maintaining competitive property tax levels and a stable regulatory framework.

#4. Fish habitat on BC’s private managed forest land is protected primarily by the Federal Fisheries Act, the BC Water Act and the BC Private Managed Forest Land (PMFL) Act. The PMFL Act is the only statute with hard-wired minimum riparian zone and riparian tree retention numbers. These three statutes, combined with certification and BMP commitments, compel forest owners to take positive action on a site-by-site basis to ensure that fish habitat is protected and that potential hazards related to forest management are minimized. On the ground, this means owners engage experts and best practices to assess where to prioritise riparian protection and generally leave more streamside trees and wider riparian zones on sites where key public environmental values are high and risks are greatest. So, higher values & greater risk = wider riparian zones and more retained trees. Government maintains oversight and control by investigating and penalizing any non-compliances brought to their attention through inspections, reports, and forest practices audits.

Log exports is a complex topic. BC log prices are amongst the lowest in the world and without the sales premium from some wood going overseas, forest management would be uneconomical and local mills would have no logs at all. Most surviving coastal sawmills and forest management operations on both Crown and private land would not be in business today without some access to export log markets.

I hope this helps?! Best regards, Rod Bealing