British Columbia releases third State of the Forests Report
The most intensive and thorough report ever produced on the state of British Columbia‘s forests suggests sound laws and policies, including public reporting by an independent Forest Practices Board, are supporting sustainable forest management in British Columbia, Forests, Mines and Lands Minister Pat Bell announced today.
“British Columbia’s forests are integral to our quality of life and this report covers the economic, ecological and social aspects of our forests,” said Pat Bell. “It recognizes our impressive levels of protected and sustainably managed forests, ecosystem diversity, strong legislation, recreation opportunities and First Nations involvement – all things people around the world associate with British Columbia.”
The report provides detailed, yet easy-to-understand information on 91 indicators of forest sustainability and management. The 2010 report is the result of a two-year effort by a team of 30 staff from several natural resource ministries, supported by over 130 contributors and advisors from many organizations.
The indicators are based on nationally and internationally accepted standards and cover topics such as species diversity, timber harvest, public involvement and jobs and communities. The report also identifies challenges presented by the mountain pine beetle and the global recession.
Examples of the report’s findings include:
- The area of protected forests over 140 years old has increased by almost one million hectares since 2002 and now totals 4.5 million hectares, a 250 per cent increase since 1991.
- There are about 11 billion cubic metres of timber in B.C. forests, approximately half of which will never be harvested.
- Reforestation success rates are very high.
- There are about 70 million user-days of recreation in B.C.’s forests each year.
“The State of British Columbia’s Forests report provides British Columbians with a summary of our forest resources and how we’re managing them,” added Bell. “It is an incredibly useful reference for students, professionals and the public to learn about the condition of our forests and province.”
The 2010 report is the third edition of the State of B.C. Forests and the first to cover 91 indicators in 24 topic areas. It follows the initial 2004 report (24 indicators in six topic areas), and the second edition in 2006 (48 indicators in 12 topic areas).