Old Growth Work Underway

Last updated: May 19, 2021

Based on the recommendations outlined in the Independent Panel’s report on old growth, the Government of British Columbia has begun work on an initial set of priorities that will lead to new policy development. This work will set the foundation for additional priorities. Work is already underway in the following areas:

The Province is engaging with Indigenous leaders and organizations through a two-tiered approach that supports efficient communications and is respectful of communities’ resources and other priorities during COVID-19:

  • engaging in direct government-to-government (G2G) discussions with Nations on recommendations that affect old-growth forests and management within their territories.
  • an Indigenous facilitated engagement forum for multi-Nation involvement to discuss and develop broad strategic policy advice and recommendations aimed at a new paradigm and framework for old growth stewardship.

Engagement approaches will include:

  • Strategies that reflect Rights and Title holders.
  • Acknowledging engagement pressures from various initiatives.
  • Acknowledging some Nations have established protocols and processes with Province.
  • Finding efficiencies that respect challenges such as COVID-19.

Building on the government’s announcement in 2020 to defer 196,000 hectares of old-growth forests from harvesting, work is underway with Indigenous leaders and in consultation with stakeholders to identify potential additional deferral areas and assess their potential economic impacts.

Learn more about old growth deferrals.

The Government of B.C. understands the importance of old-growth forests to British Columbians and is committed to providing regular updates and supporting decision-making and effective dialogue through improved information:  

  • providing regular updates on the status of the work
  • improving access to information by enhancing the Government’s webpage as a “one-stop” portal for information on old growth and creating tools to facilitate discussion
  • providing information that is of a level of detail and format that is meaningful to the public
  • ensuring forest condition reports are posted for public information

Developing a framework for broader public engagement is underway. A number of advisory groups are being established with industry, environmental organizations and local governments that will leverage their technical and scientific expertise and invite diverse perspectives. 

The Province protected up to 1,500 exceptionally large, individual trees under the Special Tree Protection Regulation. This builds on government’s announcement in 2019 that it would develop a permanent approach to protecting big, iconic trees.

To learn more about the Special Tree Protection Regulation review the frequently asked questions document.

Government will provide regular updates including an interim progress report on the above steps.

 

This website will be updated regularly, as work to address the recommendations progresses.