Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot Project
The Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot Project is one of four provincial pilots helping shape a new framework for sustainable forest management in B.C.
On this page:
- What is the Sunshine Coast forest landscape planning pilot project
- The Sunshine Coast planning area
- Pilot project goals and scope
- Who is involved
- Public engagement process
The Sunshine Coast Timber Supply Area (TSA) is one of four provincial pilots developing a Forest Landscape Plan (FLP). FLPs will serve as tactical plans that guide forest development and are intended to replace Forest Stewardship Plans (FSPs), which currently establish the legal requirements, under Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), for licence holders.
The intent of the Sunshine Coast FLP pilot project is:
- To test the FLP development process and inform future regulatory requirements for FLPs throughout British Columbia
- To create an FLP that applies to all volume-based operators within the Sunshine Coast TSA once the regulations come into force
Timber Supply Areas are a forest management unit where the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC), conservation targets and legislated objectives are set. Area based tenures (i.e., Community Forests, Woodlots, Tree Farm Licenses) are considered separate management units, which typically have their own AAC and have different planning approaches than volume-based tenures.
The Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot Project is underway. As the project progresses, the material developed by the planning table will be available on this webpage at key project milestones. Public and stakeholder input will be sought at various phases of the project.
The Sunshine Coast Timber Supply Area contains about 1.56 million hectares of land from Howe Sound in the south to the summit of Mount Waddington (BC’s highest peak) in the north. The land base is ecologically diverse and has some of the most biologically productive forests in British Columbia.
The area within the Forest Landscape Planning Pilot includes the traditional territories of 15 First Nations.
Logging and associated industries have been a mainstay of the Sunshine Coast’s economy for over a century. Today, the percentage of people directly employed in forestry and logging on the Sunshine Coast is approximately two to three times the Provincial average, and several forest products companies are significant employers in the area. Recreation and tourism is highly valued within the planning area, with popular trail networks in and around the population centres of Gibson’s, Sechelt and Powell River and marine destinations such as Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands.
The goal of the Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Plan Pilot is to create a sustainable forest management plan that will produce the following benefits:
- Accountability – government sets direction, and licensees commit to it in their operational plans
- Collaboration – new streamlined opportunities for collaboration between government, Indigenous Nations and licensees; one clear process within a management area, rather than many processes for multiple licensees
- Efficiency – reduced operational costs as forest planning and management becomes less fragmented. A consolidated approach is expected to create efficiencies in management, administration, reporting and monitoring
- Adaptation – provides a framework for continuous re-examination and management adjustments to address current and future risks, while embracing uncertainty over time
- Clear direction to licensees – creates ability to prioritize values
The scope of the Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot is to:
- Align First Nations and Provincial values early in the forest management and development planning process so they are reflected in management practices and forestry-related decisions
- Partner through consultation and co-operation with First Nations consistent with the Province's commitment to implement UNDRIP and incorporate First Nations’ values in forest management planning
- Establish long-term management of natural resources to integrate biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, First Nations’ values, and the development of local communities
- Create efficiency and predictability in the regulatory process supporting community stability and continued investments in timberlands and manufacturing
- Inform and be consistent with the work to amend the Forest and Range Practices Act, the associated regulatory changes and the Chief Forester’s guiding principles for developing Forest Landscape plans
The Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Plan Project team is working with First Nations, industry representatives, local communities, and across Provincial ministries and initiatives active in the Sunshine Coast Timber Supply Area.
A group of representatives including First Nations, stakeholders, licensees, land users and the Province will meet to review the data and develop a Forest Landscape Plan. There will be opportunities for the public to review and provide input at key milestones.
Public engagement will be ongoing throughout the duration of the Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape pilot project. Opportunities for review and comment of project materials will be provided to interested parties at key milestones. More information on public engagement, including opportunities to share feedback with the project team will be provided on this webpage when available.