Lots of misinformation

Government maintains oversight and control by investigating and penalizing any regulatory non-compliance

In response to your editorial “OUR VIEW: Provincial oversight missing in Cortes logging dispute” published Dec. 12.

There is a lot of misinformation swirling around regarding the protection of key public environmental values on private managed forest lands. The Private Forest Landowners Association (PFLA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the responsible stewardship of B.C.’s private forest lands. We appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.

Enforcement of federal, provincial and local government regulations on private managed forest land 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.

Government maintains oversight and control by investigating and penalizing any regulatory non-compliance brought to their attention through inspections, reports, and forest practices audits. Any member of the public can contact the regulatory agency with an allegation of non-compliance and an investigation will follow. The Private Managed Forest Land Council is the regulatory agency responsible for the Managed Forest Program. They have a responsive regulatory process that swings into action and completes investigations much faster than the public land model. Penalties for failing to meet environmental laws are financially significant. Owners have additional incentives to meet or exceed legal requirements because a single non-compliance event can jeopardise valuable third-party forest management certification. This is detrimental to forest owners who rely on third-party certification to satisfy their customers’ demand for sustainably managed forest products.

This results-oriented regulatory approach leverages a dynamic unique to private land: owners are held fully responsible for their actions. In contrast, the multiple and overlapping licencees, authorizing agencies and users, found on public land, often make it difficult to determine who’s responsible for what. This is also known as “the tragedy of the commons.”

In our view, it’s not a question of determining whether there’s sufficient government oversight on private land, but rather a matter of understanding a completely different model of ownership and responsibility.

PFLA is committed to raising awareness about private forest management and we welcome your questions and comments.

Rod Bealing

Private Forest Landowners Association

Just Posted

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Fire completely destroys home in Campbell River

Cause unknown in fire that gutted Willow Point home on Sunday

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Most Read