Fort St. John Pilot Project

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    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  

    An Experiment in Performance Based Forest Management

    The participants in the Fort St. John Pilot Project (Canadian Forest Products, Louisiana-Pacific (Canada) and BC Timber Sales:Peace-Liard Business Area, with Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation and Cameron River Logging Ltd.) have proposed fundamental changes to the current forest planning regime within theFort St. John Timber Supply Area.

    The overarching goal of the participants is to achieve the objectives and standards of the current legislation with a statutory and management package that reduces regulatory burden and administrative costs. This will be accomplished, in part through the implementation of comprehensive environmental management systems consistent with ISO 14001. Furthermore, the sustainable forest management (SFM) plan will be developed to include the components and performance objectives of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) SFM System. The inherent continual improvement aspects of the ISO 14001 standard and the CSA SFM System, and mechanisms within the pilot project regulation will enable the participants to implement and maintain a rigorous adaptive management system.

    Many of the potential benefits provided by the Pilot Project are the result of the collaboration of planning and operational activities by the participants. For example, harvesting and road construction will be spatially and temporally coordinated to more effectively achieve environmental, economic and social objectives than is possible under current legislative arrangements. Also, the Pilot Project regulation provides flexibility to adapt practices to specific site conditions in an ecologically and socially appropriate manner with minimal administrative process.

    The Pilot Project allows industry to try new ways of regulating forest management and forest practices. First Nations and the public have a stronger role in local resource management, especially in reviewing performance. The Pilot Project also promotes and enhances the role of professionals through increased professional accountability.

       Key initiatives included in the Fort St. John Pilot Project include:

       - Creation of a strategic, landscape level plan for the Pilot Project area called a sustainable forest management plan. The participants will prepare the plan with the guidance of a local public advisory group, First Nations and a scientific/technical advisory committee. The sustainable forest management plan will be subject to approval by the Ministry of Forests Regional Manager and the Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection Regional Director for a period of up to six years.

       - Replacement of the participants' individual forest development plans with a single, consolidated forest operations schedule that will indicate the location of the participants' proposed forestry developments for a period of six or more years. The forestry operations schedule will not be subject to approval by government, but the designated government official may withhold authorization of specific operations if warranted.

       - Elimination of the requirement for government approval of all site level operational plans including silviculture prescriptions, road layout and design plans, road construction surveys, road deactivation plans and stand management prescriptions. Among the first tasks to be undertaken by the participants will be the implementation of a single shared secure internet accessible data management system for the Pilot Project to facilitate resource inventory management, modeling of predicted outcomes and cumulative impacts, preparation of operational plans and measurement and reporting of performance. The participants and government will realize significant efficiency and productivity gains through the application of this data system. The public will benefit by having better access to information, and more opportunity to participate in resource planning.

    Fort St. John Performance Based Pilot Project
    (PDF Format)