Policy

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By becoming a free member of the BC First Nations Forestry Council, you can gain access to all of our tools and resources. These have been developed collaboratively with industry partners, the Province, and using direct input from Indigenous communities across BC.

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Policy Development and Reform

Our goal is to provide expertise in forest policy to support First Nations and advance their rights and interests through active two-way communications with First Nations communities and organizations on forestry issues, legislative and policy development, and reform. The work ensures that First Nations interests and priorities are addressed in provincial forest programs, policies, and practices.

Some of the current and past policy issues that the FNFC has reviewed are described below:

   -   Statement of Law Regarding First Nations and Forestry (March 2015)

The First Nations Forestry Council in partnership with Vancouver Island University, Centre for Pre-confederation Treaties and Reconciliation has produced a report that reviews the legal relationship with forests from a Crown perspective and from an Aboriginal perspective. The report discusses Aboriginal Title and the legal relationship with forests, how it amounts to full beneficial ownership and the concepts of consent, consultation and accommodation.

Finally, implications for decision-making and forest management are considered.

Natural Resources Road Act

The Province of BC is proposing a change in legislation that will revise how roads are handled for the province. Recent information meetings were conducted, as well as the distribution of materials related to the proposed changes.

Based on the feedback and responses, the change in legislation is expected to go to government in the fall of 2013. 

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Recent Policy Changes in BC and Implications to First Nations

As it did in March 2011, the British Columbia First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC) has undertaken a review of recent forest policy changes that affect First Nations governments and/or organizations (FNFC, 2011). This paper was funded by the New Relationship Trust. 

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Policy Review 2010

The FNFC underwent a review of various policy changes made by the Province that in some way may impact forest activities and first nations. Check out the review findings which are summarized in our report Recent Changes in Forest Legislation (March 2011)

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Tenure

The FNFC has worked to understand the level of participation in the forest sector that FN hold and have continued to advocate for improvements in provincial tenure policy that would make First Nations held tenure more viable.

In December 2007 we submitted the Tenure Viabilities Paper to the Minister after a year of Working Group discussions with the province. 

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Provincial Working Roundtable on Forestry (Spring 2009)

The Premier of BC called on the Minister of Forests to conduct a review of the forest sector in 2008 and the resulting roundtable working group recommendations report was introduced in the Spring of 2009.  

The FNFC made submissions to the roundtable which led to Priority Six: First Nations Becoming Full Partners in Forestry,  and five recommendations in the report related to First Nations in forestry. Our communities were further represented on the Roundtable by Dave Porter and Chief Lynda Price.

This report has been leading the Ministry of Forests in its activities and workplans for the past year and will continue to provide direction over the coming years.

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Silviculture (FRPA)

One of the recommendations from the Working Roundtable on Forestry established in 2008 called for a review of forest management and silviculture practices. In March 2009, the province released a Discussion Paper entitled "Growing Opportunities; A New Vision for Silviculture in British Columbia" that outlines the Vision and Principles of a new framework for silviculture. However, this Discussion Paper still focuses on the need to maximize productivity and timber supply, and not on an ecological holistic model that can be more resilient and sustain a greater diversity of services and products.

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Joint Land Use Planning Protocol

Agreement was reached at the joint Province/First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group Land Use Planning Session held in March 2006 in Kamloops, British Columbia to move toward a new land use planning protocol consistent with the New Relationship. This direction was confirmed at the Mountain Pine Beetle Forum held in April 2006 in Prince George. At these forums, First Nations participants, identified land use planning as a community priority second only to health and safety of the communities from wildfires.

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