Forest Landscape Plans

Forest Landscape Planning is the process of establishing clear objectives and outcomes for the management of forest resource values over a defined area. Forest Landscape Plans will replace the current Forest Stewardship Plans as part of changes to British Columbia’s forest management regime including the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).

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Forest landscape plan process

Forest Landscape Planning will help translate high-level strategic land use planning direction to specific forest management areas. They will bridge the gap between Strategic Land Use Planning and Operational/Site-level Planning while enabling deeper engagement and greater transparency with local governments and stakeholders. As part of this approach, the B.C. government will work collaboratively with Indigenous governments, communities, and stakeholders to develop Forest Landscape Plans in B.C.

Key pieces of forest landscape plans: 

  • Identify where and how forest management activities can occur (i.e. timber harvesting, road layout, silviculture activities)
  • Provide clarity on overlapping direction from strategic plans and land use objectives such as Wildfire Risk Reduction Plans and Access Management Plans
  • Address changing conditions in a timely manner (e.g. climate change, wildfires)
  • Address potential environmental impacts from timber harvesting activities
  • Consider cumulative effects to prepare for possible future forest conditions

Stakeholders and forest landscape plans

Forest Landscape Plans are intended to be completed in partnership with Indigenous Nations, in collaboration with forest licensees, and with input from stakeholders, local communities, and the public at each of the various milestones of the planning process. Once complete, forest landscape plans will be established by the chief forester in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous communities.


Forest landscape planning framework

The new Forest Landscape Planning framework responds to the challenges that B.C.’s forest sector has experienced in the last decade by better addressing both current and foreseeable pressures related to:

  • Coordinating forest development
  • Realizing sustainable harvest levels in support of B.C.’s economy
  • Enabling new cooperation with B.C.’s communities and Indigenous Peoples
  • Achieving greater government oversight of forest management
  • Ensuring that land managers have the right tools to establish resilient forests and rangelands when faced with the uncertain impacts of climate change upon these ecosystems

Working in collaboration and cooperation with Indigenous communities

Forest Landscape Planning aligns with the B.C. Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration Act) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and enables new opportunities for Indigenous Nations to better participate in forest planning and decision-making. 

Forest Landscape Plans must be developed in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples whose rights may be affected and to reflect the right of self-government and self-determination of Indigenous peoples. This requirement is broad and may encompass a range of government-to-government decision-making processes. 

The Forest Landscape Planning process also provides the opportunity to have Indigenous Governing Bodies enter into a decision-making agreement under section 7 of the Declaration Act. Decision-making agreements are negotiated and entered into by a member of Cabinet and an Indigenous Governing Body. While the scope and details of the content of section 7 agreements will evolve, they may relate to joint exercise of a statutory power of decision, or the consent of the indigenous Governing Body before the exercise of a statutory power of decision.


Forest landscape planning pilot projects

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has initiated several pilot projects across the province in partnership with First Nations, communities, and the forest sector. These projects will help inform the development of related regulations and policy and future Forest Landscape Plans. 

  1. Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot and Timber Supply Review
  2. Quesnel TSA Forest Landscape Planning Pilot
  3. 'Namgis and Western Forest Products Forest Landscape Plan Pilot
  4. Lakes FRPA Forest Landscape Plan and Resiliency Project

Introducing Forest Landscape Planning