FRPA (Bill 21) (Public)

FRPA

The Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA), outlines how all forest and range practices are to be conducted on the public land in BC, while ensuring protection of plants, animals, and ecosystems. Some of the broad areas covered within it include Forest Stewardship Plans, Protection of Resources, Regulations & Standards, and more.

Bill 21 - The Forest & Range Practices Amendment Act - was passed in 2019 with no First Nations input or involvement.

Read Leadership Council Letter RE: Changes to Forest Policy

Dear Deputy Minister Allan,


We have a number of serious concerns regarding proposed changes by the Province to forest policy and legislation without First Nations input or engagement. This includes changes to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) submitted to Cabinet; the Refusal of Cutting Permit or Road Permit Regulation enacted on January 8, 2019; and changes to the Coastal Forest Revitalization Initiative announced on January 17, 2019. We also have concerns regarding maintenance of the status quo in the Forest Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreement (FCRSA) mandate for 2019/2020.

 

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Response Letter, Sent January 10, 2020

Our response letter to the Ministry of Forests regarding changes to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).

FRPA is a critical piece of overarching legislation regarding the management of BC’s forest lands and resources that was developed and introduced in 2004 without First Nations’ input or involvement. First Nations also had little to no input into the initial changes to FRPA that were introduced and passed in April 2019 (Bill 21).  Now, the Province will be doing a series of proposed regulatory changes to bring Bill 21 into force that are primarily focused on government objectives that do not reflect the input and priorities identified by First Nations. 

We now have an opportunity to bring FRPA in line with the UN Declaration, starting with the revised BC & First Nations Forest Strategy which contains goals applicable to FPRA that incorporate First Nations’ values and management objectives. It also includes objectives around collaborative stewardship and land use planning that can help inform changes to FRPA and the new landscape-level planning regime the Province is moving forward with in the spring of 2020.

We are proposing:

  • That the timeline to review, and respond to, Bill 21 regulations be adjusted to afford a reasonable time for review, given that most Nations were closed for at least two weeks over the Christmas holidays,
  • To cohost 4 regional engagement sessions with the Chief Forester’s Office and BC First Nations before March 31, 2020 to facilitate additional opportunities to review, and discuss, the proposed regulatory amendments and additional statutory changes with First Nations.

We are also seeking more clarity on the link between the “What we Heard Report” produced by the Office of the Chief Forester (Appendix 3) and additional proposed Act amendments for the Forest and Range Practices Act, Spring 2020 (Appendix 2). Many of these changes seem to support government priorities and not those we heard in engagement sessions with First Nations in 2019, such as:

  • the need for new practice requirements and input into changes to reflect BC First Nations’ perspectives for all resource values identified under FRPA,
  • the importance and need for resources, so all BC First Nations can develop their own land management frameworks within their territories, and
  • the need for joint decision-making regarding the establishment of objectives for resource values, and for the Province to formally recognize Land Use Plans (LUPs) developed by Nations for their territory.

Download Response Letter to Deputy Chief Forester

RE: Reference Letter 251551, Proposed Regulatory Amendments to Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), Winter/Spring 2020; and Act Amendment to FRPA Spring 2020

We are writing in response to your letter of November 15, 2019 regarding changes to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), and the specific opportunities we see to partner with the Ministry to deliver on the commitments of the current government. We first want to recognize efforts the Ministry made in the summer and fall of 2019 to work with the BC First Nations Forestry Council, and meet with Indigenous communities regarding additional amendments to FRPA.


The letter dated November 15, 2019 sent to First Nations is very technical in nature. Because of this, we would be interested in collaborating with the Ministry on helping First Nations better understand how their input was
incorporated into the proposed regulatory changes to support Bill 21, as well as engage with them on the proposed Act amendments for the Forest and Range Practices Act, in the spring 2020. We would also like to request that the timeline to review, and respond to, Bill 21 regulations be adjusted to afford a reasonable time for review, given that most Nations were closed for at least two weeks over the Christmas holidays.

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