Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot Project
The Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot Project is one of four provincial pilots shaping a new framework for sustainable forest management in British Columbia.
On this page:
- What is the Sunshine Coast Forest Landscape Planning Pilot Project?
- The Sunshine Coast forest landscape planning area
- Pilot project goals and scope
- Who is involved in the forest landscape planning process
- Public engagement process
Timber supply areas (TSA) 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 TSA and a portion of the Pacific TSA are developing a pilot forest landscape plan (FLP). The FLP will serve as a tactical plan for guiding forest development. It is intended to replace the forest stewardship plans (FSPs), which currently establish the legal requirements for licence holders under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).
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 guides forest management strategies within the Sunshine Coast TSA and portions of the Pacific TSA to provide consistency, accountability and measurability
As the Sunshine Coast FLP Pilot 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 TSA contains about 1.56 million hectares of land from Howe Sound in the south to the summit of Mount Waddington (B.C.’s highest peak) in the north. The land base is ecologically diverse and features some of the most biologically productive forests in British Columbia.
The area within the FLP pilot includes the traditional territories of 15 First Nations.
Recreation and tourism are 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 FLP Pilot is to:
- Provide working examples of cooperation, reconciliation, and partnership that support the ongoing work of implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act (2019)
- Create an FLP that safeguards cultural resources, ecosystem health, watershed integrity, resilient forest ecosystems, ecology function, biodiversity, fish, wildlife, water and the well-being of forests and communities into the future
- Advance the use of Indigenous Knowledge, local community values, and evidence-based policy development through long-term, holistic, and respectful management of lands and waters
- Mitigate the cumulative effects of forest operations on ecological and social values, such as, but not limited to, protecting old growth forests, biodiversity, ecosystem health, cultural values, habitat for species-at-risk and water quality and quantity
- Plan for resilient ecosystems that can adapt to, and mitigate losses from, climate change and natural disturbance events such as wildfires, insect infestations, droughts, and floods
- Enable forward-thinking planning and better responses to reduce current and future risks and uncertainties associated with climate change
- Engage with forest licensees and community stakeholders on landscape-level planning
- Create greater predictability for current and future forest operations while ensuring a strong economic, social, cultural, sustainable, and environmental climate for all British Columbians
These goals support the creation of a sustainable forest management plan and 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, First 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 such as ecosystem health, fish, biodiversity, wildlife, culture, sustainable economies, cumulative impacts and climate change
The Sunshine Coast FLP Project team is working with First Nations, industry representatives, local communities, and across Provincial ministries and initiatives active in the Sunshine Coast TSA.
A group of representatives including First Nations, interest groups, 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 FLP pilot project which is currently in the Values Identification and Assessment phase of planning. Interested parties will be given the opportunity to review and comment on project materials at key milestones as the process advances through these phases. More information on public engagement, including opportunities to share feedback with the project team, will be provided on this webpage when available.
Meaningful public engagement is essential to ensuring public support of the Sunshine Coast FLP pilot project and intended outcomes. Public engagement strengthens the project by helping increase our understanding of what is important to interested parties and communities, while building mutual trust.
FLPs encourage interested parties, communities, and the public to provide input throughout development and implementation of the plan. The three overarching goals of this engagement are to:
- Build understanding with interested parties and the public of the Planning Team’s roles and planning activities
- Build trust and confidence in the Planning Team and planning process
- Provide opportunities for feedback, seek feedback from the public and interested parties and, where possible, consider it in decisions
Get involved in the FLP process for the Sunshine Coast by attending one or more of the following open houses in Sechelt, Powell River, and Campbell River.
- Campbell River – November 30th 5:30pm – 8:00pm
- Thulin Room, Maritime Heritage Centre, 621 Island Highway
- qathet – December 5th 5:30pm – 8:00pm
- The ARC, 7055 Alberni St
- Sechelt – December 6st 6:00pm – 8:30pm
- Foyer - Chatelech Secondary School, 5904 Cowrie St
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning on attending one of the three open houses.
For more information on this engagement and to take our survey, visit govTogetherBC