Old growth strategic review process

The review of B.C.’s old-growth management is about developing a new approach in this province, so today’s families and future generations can enjoy the wide range of benefits that old-growth trees provide.

In 2019, the Government of British Columbia appointed an independent, two-person panel as part of an Old Growth Strategic Review to engage the public in a conversation about old growth. The intent of this review was to provide more clarity about old-growth management and about how economic, conservation and cultural values can be met.

The independent panel consisted of Garry Merkel, a professional forester, natural resource expert and member of the Tahltan Nation and Al Gorley, also a professional forester and former chair of the Forest Practices Board. Merkel and Gorley engaged with First Nations, industry, stakeholders and communities to explore different perspectives on old-growth management, taking the interests of all British Columbians into account.

As part of this engagement, there were approximately:

  • 200 meetings in 45 communities
  • 300 written submissions
  • 400 published articles and papers
  • 9,000 emails
  • 18,500 completed surveys.

This public engagement process ended on January 31, 2020. Read the What We Heard report (PDF, 9.7MB).

On April 30, 2020, Merkel and Gorley submitted their report, which included 14 recommendations to inform a new approach to old-growth management in British Columbia. On September 11, 2020, government released the panel’s report, A New Future for Old Forests, and announced it was embarking on a new, holistic approach to protecting old-growth forests.

The short video below provides an opportunity to hear directly from the report authors Garry Merkle and Al Gorley on how the recommendations were formulated in order to facilitate feedback.

An Overview of The Old Growth Strategic Review