TimberWest fully embraces the objectives of Ecosystem Based Management to concurrently achieve ecological integrity and human well-being.
The Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) encompasses 64,000 square kilometres of land and fresh water lying along the mainland coast from Bute Inlet in the south to the border with Alaska. TimberWest has public tenures covering less than 2% of the GBR area.
The vast majority of TimberWest’s operations in the GBR is previously harvested and regenerated forest.
TimberWest’s holdings in the southern portion of the GBR near Vancouver Island include TFL 47, forest licenses and timber licenses. The portion of TFL 47 that covers the GBR includes highly productive forestland — the vast majority of which is previously harvested and regenerated forest. An average annual harvest level of 365,000 m3 per year for this area was established by government in 2014.
As a result of government sponsored land use planning, agreements between the forest industry and environmental organizations, as well as First Nations-Province government-to-government protocols, one-third of the GBR is formally protected in parks and conservancies with an Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) regional design being implemented.
The standards for EBM for the Great Bear Rainforest have been developed through an iterative process. Since first implemented in 2007, they have been revised to reflect work done by industry, Government, First Nations, communities, and the environmental community working together to clarify the approach and improve outcomes over time. The latest revision of the standards is currently under review by First Nations and Government and will be released as a new land use order.
“Plans were consistent with the SCCO and VILUP Orders, including Ecosystem Based Management (EBM).” – Forest Practices Board, February 2015
While new policy is being developed and reviewed, TimberWest conducts its planning and operations consistent with the current EBM Land Use Order for leave areas, critical species habitat, riparian, etc. This was verified in a 2015 Forest Practices Board Audit. Forward planning is an important and responsible way to operate. It ensures environmental sustainability, the ability to respond to markets, and provide a stable workflow for contractors and employees. Significant investment and organization is required to be ahead in planning. It is typical for us to have up to two years worth of planning approved at any time.
TimberWest’s harvest activity in the GBR is occurring at a sustainable rate and in accordance with regulation. This is confirmed in the recent TFL 47 Full Scope Audit by the Forest Practices Board and Ministry cut control statements. TimberWest will comply with harvest control levels for the new, specific, harvest level assigned in the EBM area of TFL 47 in 2014 and also continue to meet the overall harvest level controls for the entire TFL 47.
TimberWest has engaged transparently with all interests, through our planning and harvesting in the GBR, including environmental groups, for many years. We have provided extensive harvest and other data to the discussion and continue to adapt our practices to reflect new understanding of EBM over and above legal requirements.
We have a standing offer to openly review our plans with interested parties to inform discussions seeking to resolve concerns about TimberWest’s practices. We will work to implement the intent of the new regulations while balancing the public’s expectation of renewable economic activity from their forests.
TimberWest has been operating for over 100 years on the BC Coast. We are a committed, long-term player and sustainable forest management is a core value for us. Nurturing long-term sustainability and protecting biodiversity are critical to our ongoing success in a business where performance is measured over decades and centuries.
We remain strongly committed to working with Government, First Nations and all key stakeholders to implement Ecosystem-Based Management in the Great Bear Rainforest.