Strategic review of old growth forest management

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.

Last updated: May 19, 2021

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.

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.