This report reflects input from BC First Nations during engagement sessions held in 2019 and virtual engagement sessions held in June 2020 regarding provincial priorities and initiatives concerning the protection of resource values in forest management and stewardship objectives.
The purpose of this report is to inform proposed changes to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), Land Use Planning (LUPs), and the development of a new strategy for old growth management that reflects First Nations’ forest management principles and values.
Engagement with First Nations
The BC First Nations Forestry Council (the ‘Forestry Council’) held initial engagement session in 2019 and additional engagement sessions virtually in June 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to discuss changes the province was proposing to the Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA). The goal of the June virtual engagement sessions was to build on input received in 2019, and seek more detailed input to inform changes the province is proposing to FRPA, and other forest policies and regulations.
The virtual engagement sessions consisted of four meetings with First Nations from across the province. The sessions focused on three key areas: 1) changes to FRPA, 2) Land Use Planning, and 3) development of a new strategy for old growth management. Nations unable to participate in these meetings were invited to send in their feedback through online forms and questionnaires in efforts to provide additional opportunities for input.
The Forestry Council recognizes and does not consider this input as conclusive or exhaustive as many BC First Nations were unavailable as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It should be used to inform further work with Nations on changes to FRPA and other provincial policies and practices, with the overall goal of increasing the role First Nations play in the development of forest stewardship objectives and management practices for their territories.
More work needs to be done with Nations regarding the modernization of land use planning and forest landscape level planning, development of new approaches to old growth management and to develop regulatory and Act amendments to FRPA that incorporate Indigenous principles and values in the management of forests lands and resources.