Stewardship - A Forest Practices Board Perspective
Summary: This blog story is about conservation and stewardship of the land, today we would like to introduce you to the Forest Practices Board’s perspective on stewardship, show you how we are taking action to address this topic and how you can participate. The British Columbia Forest Practices Board describes themselves as “BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest practices”. They “report to the public and government about compliance with the Forest & Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act and the achievement of their intent.”
Stewardship and responsible resource-use practices are required to ensure a healthy environment today and into the future. But what exactly does that mean and how do we achieve it?
The B.C. Forest Practices Board (FPB) released their board bulletin “Stewardship – A Forest Practices Board Perspective” in March 2016, in which they outline a set of principles to manage British Columbia’s resources sustainably now, and for the future.
These principles recognize the need for a land and resource planning process that is comprehensive and invites input from the public. The importance of transparency as well as ecological, economic and social considerations are specifically emphasized as recommended practices.
“Ensuring responsible resource use today, while maintaining the health of the land for future generations” is the definition of Stewardship used by the FPB. In times of rapid change and easily accessible immense databases, the most current research and knowledge has to be incorporated into natural resource management. Management plans need to be reviewed periodically. It is important that resource managers are continuously learning, so that long term goals and objectives can take new information into consideration. The management documents need to set clear goals and objectives.
British Columbia’s very diverse natural environment, ranging from rich coastal shorelines, snow-peaked mountains and the vast interior river valleys and plateaus requires a great deal of coordination, especially between government agencies and the variety of tenure holders. Participation by the general public is encouraged to address their considerations and cumulative effects, between the competing groups. The Management documents need to be accessible for the public, especially for those actively involved in resource management, to provide a knowledge base upon which to make informed decisions.
To successfully manage resources and land use for future generations it is fundamentally important that the guidelines of the land management plans are respected by and reflected in the conservation practices on the ground and by all participating groups. The base for decision-making is the conservation of healthy and productive habitats that are resistant and resilient throughout natural disturbances like climate change.
To take accountability for outcomes, tracking decisions and monitoring operations are necessary. This will ensure that activities on the ground are in agreement with the stewardship plans and help to keep everyone involved accountable to each other.
Our partner organization the Chilcotin Ark Institute agrees with the FBP and strives to implement these suggestions to create a working landscape concept and management that sustains viable populations of species in the Chilcotin Ark.
To do so the Chilcotin Ark Institute promotes responsible resources including land management guided by the Evergreen Stewardship Plans. The CAI encourages all entities and governments like the federal, provincial and regional government, First Nations, land owners, farmers, ranchers, guide outfitters, tourism operators, forestry and mining to take responsibility. They strive to achieve maximum wildlife population numbers for the habitat‘s potential carrying capacity, this being the indicator for sustainable land management.
If you want to know more about the research and conservation projects or learn how you can get involved and make a difference, check out the Chilcotin Ark Institute.
BC Forest Practices Board – https://www.bcfpb.ca/board/what-we-do/
BC Forest Practices Board, Board Bulletin, Volume 17 – March 2016, Stewardship – A Forest Practices Board Perspective – https://www.bcfpb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Volume-17-Stewardship-A-FPB-Perspective.pdf