Karst Management in British Columbia

In British Columbia, the responsibility for managing karst resources in provincial forests lies with the ministry responsible for forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development.

Provisions have been made for managing special resource features such as karst. These provisions identify sensitive areas and guide protection and conservation efforts, providing guidelines around economic activities, including road construction and maintenance, timber harvesting, reforestation and stand tending. They also provide guidance with regard to recreation, such as for site and trail selection, access, and commercial opportunities. 

Legislation

Section 5 of the Government Actions Regulation (GAR) specifies resource features that may be identified by the Minister, which can include surface or subsurface elements of a karst system, interpretive forest sites, recreation sites, recreation trails, trails or other recreation facilities referred to in section 57 of the Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA) authorized by the Minister or under another enactment, and recreation features that the Minister considers to be of significant recreational value.  The practice requirements under section 70 of the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation specify that, unless exempted by the Minister, primary forest activities must not damage or render ineffective resource features. 

Evaluation and Monitoring

FRPA can be used to identify any type of surface or subsurface element of a karst system as a resource feature for protection.  Karst is evaluated and monitored through the Forest and Range Evaluation Program (FREP).