FOREST POLICY IN NORTHEAST BRITISH COLUMBIA FROM THE 1990S TO THE EARLY 2000S: COMPARING APPROACHES TO EXPLAINING POLICY CHANGE by Sharon Chang A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October 2009 © Sharon Chang, 2009 ii Abstract In the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the increasing concern about protecting environmental values in forest across Canada and in other industrialized nations, many jurisdictions enacted new laws. Much of the new forest legislation was done through the so-called “command and control” approach to strengthen the regulation of forest practices and planning. Although the new regulatory frameworks were successful in forcing private firms and governments to pay greater attention to environmental concerns, they had also raised concerns about regulatory efficiency and cost effectiveness and prompted demands to reduce regulatory burdens and the costs of production. In response, the Government of British Columbia enacted a new regulatory framework that shifted away from detailed prescriptions and process-based approaches to those that are more based on “results” or “performance.” To examine factors explaining such policy change, this dissertation analyzes two forest policy decisions in British Columbia - the revisions to the Forest Practices Code authorizing results-based pilot projects and the Fort St. John Pilot Project in the early 2000s – against two distinct theoretical frameworks. The analysis confirms the utility of the two theoretical frameworks - the Policy Regime Framework and the Advocacy Coalition Framework - in explaining policy change. The findings of this research also reveal the limitations of each of the two theoretical lenses, and suggest that ideas exert an independent causal influence on policies when uncertainty is high, information is incomplete, and the policy goal is shared by policy actors. As a result, a new synthesis of the two theories is presented. iii Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................................... iii Lists of Tables ............................................................................................................................................. viii List of Figures ................................................................................................................................................ ix Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................................................... x Chapter One Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 New Regulatory Framework ......................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Forest Policy in BC in the 1990s and the Early 2000s .................................................................. 2 1.3 Two Theoretical Frameworks for Explaining Policy Change ....................................................... 3 1.4 About This Study ........................................................................................................................... 4 1.5 Outline of the Chapters .................................................................................................................. 5 Chapter Two Theoretical Framework and Research Design ................................................................. 6 2.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 6 2.2 Research Questions ....................................................................................................................... 6 2.3 An Overview of the Theories of Policy Change ............................................................................ 7 2.3.1 Problems with the Conventional Rational Choice Theory – The Role of Social Norms, Institutional Structure, and Information in Policy Change .............................................. 7 2.3.2 Policy Image, Institutions, and Actors in Agenda Setting ............................................... 9 2.3.3 Power in Policy Change .................................................................................................. 9 2.3.4 Actors’ Strategies in Policy Change .............................................................................. 10 2.3.5 External Shocks in Policy Change ................................................................................ 14 2.3.6 Public Opinion in Policy Change .................................................................................. 14 2.3.7 Learning in Policy Change ............................................................................................ 15 2.4 The Guiding Theoretical Frameworks ......................................................................................... 17 2.4.1 The Policy Regime Framework (the PRF) .................................................................... 17 2.4.2 The Advocacy Coalition Framework (the ACF) ........................................................... 20 2.5 Distinguishing the Advocacy Coalition Framework from the Policy Regime Framework ......... 23 2.6 Research Hypotheses ................................................................................................................... 25 2.6.1 Hypothesis Based on the Policy Regime Framework.................................................... 25 2.6.2 Hypotheses Based on the Advocacy Coalition Framework........................................... 26 2.7 Multiple-case Studies as a Research Strategy .............................................................................. 27 2.8 Research Variables ...................................................................................................................... 28 2.8.1 Independent Variables ................................................................................................... 28 iv 2.8.2 Dependent Variables ..................................................................................................... 29 2.9 Data Collection ............................................................................................................................ 29 2.9.1 Documentation as a Source of Evidence ....................................................................... 29 2.9.2 Interviews as a Source of Information ........................................................................... 30 2.10 Data Analysis............................................................................................................................... 36 Chapter Three BC Forest Policy in the 1990s ....................................................................................... 37 3.1 Forest Policy in the Harcourt Era ................................................................................................ 38 3.1.1 The Timber Supply Review and Land Use Planning .................................................... 38 3.1.2 The Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code) .................................... 40 3.1.3 Forest Renewal BC (FRBC) and Adaptive Management .............................................. 41 3.1.4 The 1995 FSSC Task Force Report ............................................................................... 42 3.2 Forest Policy in the Clark Era ...................................................................................................... 42 3.2.1 Forest Industry’s Economic Losses and the KPMG Study ........................................... 43 3.2.2 The Concept of Professional Reliance and Professional Accountability ....................... 44 3.2.3 The Jobs and Timber Accord, Operational Planning Review, and Streamlining the Code .............................................................................................................................. 45 3.2.4 Enhanced Forest Management Pilot Projects (EFMPPs) and Innovative Forest Practices Agreements (IFPAs) ..................................................................................... 47 3.2.5 Stumpage Rate Adjustments ......................................................................................... 49 3.2.6 Forest Action Plan ......................................................................................................... 50 3.2.7 Cost Driver Initiative ..................................................................................................... 51 3.2.8 Landscape Level Wildlife Protection ............................................................................ 51 3.2.9 Forest Policy Review .................................................................................................... 52 3.2.10 Premier’s Cariboo Economic Summit ........................................................................... 52 3.2.11 The Legislation of Part 10.1 .......................................................................................... 53 3.3 Summary ..................................................................................................................................... 54 Chapter Four The Results-Based Code Pilot Project Policy ................................................................ 56 4.1 Policy Process .............................................................................................................................. 56 4.1.1 Agenda Setting .............................................................................................................. 57 4.1.2 Policy Formulation ........................................................................................................ 59 4.1.3 Decision Making ........................................................................................................... 60 4.1.4 Implementation ............................................................................................................. 62 4.2 The Part 10.1 Pilot Projects ......................................................................................................... 63 4.2.1 The Stillwater Pilot Project ........................................................................................... 63 4.2.2 The Fort St. John Pilot Project ...................................................................................... 63 4.2.3 The Cariboo Licences Pilot Project ............................................................................... 64 4.2.4 The Cariboo Woodlot Pilot Project ............................................................................... 64 v 4.2.5 The Riverside (TFL 49) Pilot Project ............................................................................ 64 4.2.6 The Bulkley Pilot Project .............................................................................................. 65 4.2.7 Other Pilot Proposals ..................................................................................................... 66 4.3 Policy Content of Part 10.1 .......................................................................................................... 66 4.3.1 Public Involvement ....................................................................................................... 67 4.3.2 A Results-Based and Professional-Reliance Framework .............................................. 68 4.3.3 Exemption from Parts of the Code’s Provisions ........................................................... 69 4.3.4 Strategic and Landscape Level Planning ....................................................................... 69 4.3.5 Site Level Planning ....................................................................................................... 70 4.3.6 Forest Practices ............................................................................................................. 70 4.4 Policy Change .............................................................................................................................. 70 4.4.1 Policy Goals .................................................................................................................. 70 4.4.2 Policy Instruments ......................................................................................................... 71 4.4.3 Instrument Settings ........................................................................................................ 72 4.5 Concerns of Environment Groups ............................................................................................... 72 4.6 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 74 Chapter Five Forest Policy in Northeast BC in the 1990s and the early 2000s .................................. 82 5.1 Northeast BC ............................................................................................................................... 82 5.2 Forest Industry in Northeast BC .................................................................................................. 83 5.3 Forest Management in Northeast BC .......................................................................................... 85 5.4 Land Use Policy in Northeast BC ................................................................................................ 86 5.5 The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area ................................................................................... 88 5.6 Timber Supply in Northeast BC .................................................................................................. 89 5.7 DFAM Groups ............................................................................................................................. 96 5.8 TFL 48 ......................................................................................................................................... 96 5.9 Forest Policy in Northeast BC and its Challenges ....................................................................... 97 Chapter Six The Fort St. John Pilot Project ...................................................................................... 98 6.1 Resource Dilemmas in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area (TSA) ......................................... 98 6.2 The Fort St. John Pilot Project ..................................................................................................... 99 6.2.1 The Fort St. John Pilot Project Proposal ....................................................................... 99 6.2.2 The Participants ............................................................................................................. 99 6.2.3 The Public Advisory Groups (PAG) ........................................................................... 100 6.2.4 The Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) ............................................. 101 6.2.5 The Approval of the Pilot Project and its Regulation .................................................. 101 6.2.6 The Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) ..................................................... 101 6.2.7 The Forest Operations Schedule (FOS), Exemption, and Data Management ............. 102 6.2.8 Summary ..................................................................................................................... 102 vi 6.3 The Policy Process of the Fort St. John Pilot Project ................................................................ 102 6.3.1 Agenda Setting ............................................................................................................ 102 6.3.2 Policy Formulation ...................................................................................................... 104 6.3.3 Decision Making ......................................................................................................... 106 6.3.4 Implementation ............................................................................................................ 108 6.4 Policy Content ........................................................................................................................... 109 6.4.1 Company-Sponsored PAG as a Domain for Public Involvement ................................ 109 6.4.2 Forest Planning ............................................................................................................ 110 188.8.131.52 The Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) ................................... 110 184.108.40.206 Site Level Planning ................................................................................... 112 6.4.3 Forest Practices Standards ......................................................................................... 112 220.127.116.11 Riparian Protection .................................................................................... 112 18.104.22.168 Logging and Road Activities ..................................................................... 113 22.214.171.124 Reforestation ............................................................................................. 115 126.96.36.199 Stand Level Biodiversity ........................................................................... 117 188.8.131.52 Distribution of Patch Size, Seral Stage and Adjacency ............................. 117 184.108.40.206 Soil Disturbance ........................................................................................ 118 220.127.116.11 The Sustainable Forest Management Matrix (the SFM Matrix) ................ 119 6.4.4 Monitoring and Evaluation .......................................................................................... 120 6.4.5 Enforcement ................................................................................................................ 120 6.4.6 Adaptive Management and Continuous Improvement ................................................ 120 6.5 Summary of Policy Change ....................................................................................................... 121 6.5.1 Policy Goals ................................................................................................................ 121 6.5.2 Policy Instruments ....................................................................................................... 121 6.5.3 Instrument Settings ...................................................................................................... 122 6.6 Policy Effects .............................................................................................................................. 123 6.7 Consequences of the Fort St. John Pilot Project ........................................................................ 124 Chapter Seven Analysis of the Part 10.1 Legislation and the Fort St. John Pilot Project .................... 126 7.1 Explaining from the Policy Regime Framework (PRF) Perspective ......................................... 126 7.1.1 Actors and Their Interests and Strategies in General .................................................. 127 7.1.2 Actors’ Power Resources ............................................................................................ 128 18.104.22.168 Structural Power of Business – in the Part 10.1 Policy ............................. 128 22.214.171.124 Structural Power of Business – in the FSJPP Policy ................................. 129 126.96.36.199 Other Power Resources in Policy Change ................................................. 129 188.8.131.52 Other Power Resources – in the Part 10.1 Policy ...................................... 129 184.108.40.206 Other Power Resources – in the FSJPP Policy ......................................... 130 vii 7.1.3 Actors’ Strategies ........................................................................................................ 130 220.127.116.11 Issue Definition Strategies ......................................................................... 131 18.104.22.168 Actor-based Strategies ............................................................................... 137 22.214.171.124 Institutions Strategies ................................................................................ 138 126.96.36.199 Deterrence Strategies – in the FSJPP Policy ............................................. 140 7.1.4 Summary from the PFR Viewpoints .......................................................................... 140 7.2 Explaining from the Advocacy Coalition Framework Perspective .......................................... 143 7.2.1 Advocacy Coalitions in BC Forest Practices Policy Subsystem in the Late 1990s ... 143 188.8.131.52 Advocacy Coalitions and Policy Brokers – in the Part 10.1 policy Subsystem ................................................................................................. 144 184.108.40.206 Advocacy Coalitions, Expert Communities, and Policy Brokers – in the FSJPP Policy Subsystem ........................................................................... 145 7.2.2 Ideas and Policy-Oriented Learning in BC Forest Practices Policy Subsystem in the Late 1990s ................................................................................................................. 147 220.127.116.11 Ideas and Policy-Oriented Learning Surrounding the Part 10.1 Policy Decision ..................................................................................................... 149 18.104.22.168 Ideas and Policy-Oriented Learning Surrounding the FSJPP Policy ......... 156 7.2.3 Summary of the ACF Viewpoints ............................................................................... 162 Chapter Eight Discussions and Conclusions ...................................................................................... 166 8.1 A Summary of Forest Policy Evolution in BC and Northeast BC ............................................. 166 8.2 Comparison of the Two Theoretical Frameworks ..................................................................... 168 8.3 Summary of the PFR Lens on Case Studies .............................................................................. 168 8.4 Summary of the ACF Lens on Case Studies .............................................................................. 170 8.5 A Synthesis of the Two Theories ............................................................................................... 172 8.6 Closing ....................................................................................................................................... 176 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................................ 179 Appendix A Interview Letter............................................................................................................... 196 Appendix B Interview Questionnaire .................................................................................................. 198 Appendix C Interview Consent Form ................................................................................................. 204 Appendix D Certificate of Approval Issued by the UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board ............. 206 Appendix E Part 10.1 Legislation ....................................................................................................... 207 Appendix F Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation ............................................................................. 210 Appendix G Examples of Coding the Interview Transcription ........................................................... 211 Appendix H Examples of Coding the Collected Documents .............................................................. 215 Appendix I Fundamental Reasons, Concepts, Opinions, Concerns and Effects Coded based on Interview Transcriptions ................................................................................................. 217 viii List of Tables Chapter Two Table 2.1 The ACF versus the PRF .................................................................................................. 25 Table 2.2 Distribution of Interviewees’ Organizations and Regions ................................................ 31 Chapter Three Table 3.1 Political History of BC from the 1980s to Present ............................................................ 38 Chapter Four Table 4.1 Comments and Responses on Part 10.1 Pilot Project Regulatory Framework .................. 74 Chapter Five Table 5.1 Determined AAC for the Fort St. John TSA ..................................................................... 91 Table 5.2 Allocation of AAC to Forest Tenure Holders in the Fort St. John TSA ........................... 93 Chapter Six Table 6.1 CCFM SFM Criteria and CSA SFM elements included in the SFM Matrix .................. 119 ix List of Figures Chapter Eight Figure 8.1 A Modified Policy Regime Framework – with new factors added to the Policy Regime Framework highlighted in bold and colors ..................................................................... 176 x Acknowledgements I would like to thank the following persons whose support is crucial to the completion of this study: my dissertation supervisor, Dr. George Hoberg, for his academic guidance and mentorship much needed throughout the years of my study at the University of British Columbia (UBC); my committee members, Dr. Rob Kozak, Dr. John Innes, Dr. Les Lavkulich, and Dr Sumeet Gulati, for their dedication and sharpening my analyses and arguments and significantly improving the dissertation chapters. Of many people who supported my study, I am most indebted to the seventy one individuals who voluntarily agreed to participate in the research interviews and answered the interview questions during the time of my fieldwork in 2006. I am also appreciative of the support of Dr. Eric Hall and the Sustainable Forest Management Network in the early stage of my study at the University of British Columbia. In addition, I would like to thank Professor Charles Davis, my external examiner from the Colorado State University for a constructive and insightful reading of this dissertation. As well, I am grateful for the help of many government officials of the Government of British Columbia, independent consultants, and private citizens, who provided crucial sources of evidence and information to my research database over the course of this program. I also very much appreciate the scholarly and administrative backing of the UBC faculty and staff members at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and the Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry. Furthermore, I want to express my gratitude to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Behavioural Research Ethics Board of UBC for their support of this dissertation research. This dissertation is dedicated to my mother, Yeh Wen-Huei Chang, who could not see the completion of this work before being called from this life. Special thanks are owed to my family members, who have supported me throughout my years of education, both morally and financially. 1 Chapter One Introduction I.1 New Regulatory Frameworks The late 1980s and early 1990s brought a wave of renewed concern about protecting environmental values in forests across Canada and in other industrialized nations (Howlett 2001). Many jurisdictions enacted new laws to strengthen the regulation of forest practices and planning, much of which was done through the so- called “command and control” approach to regulation. Prominent examples of this include the Forest Protection Strategy (1994) in Quebec, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (1994) in Ontario, and the Timber Harvest Planning and Operating Ground Rules in Alberta (1994). One of the most elaborate new regulatory frameworks was introduced in British Columbia, when the Forest Practices Code was enacted after intense pressure from environmental groups (Hoberg 2001b). These new regulatory frameworks have been successful in forcing private firms and government to pay greater attention to environmental concerns. But they have also increased the costs of production, and raised concerns about regulatory efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In Canadian forestry, there has been a significant amount of criticism for over-reliance on command and control regulation (e.g. Pearse 1998; Stanbury and Vertinsky 1998). In response, there have been increased demands to reduce regulatory burdens by shifting away from detailed prescriptive and process based approaches to those that are more based on “results” or “performance.” This shift in emphasis is reflected in the Government of British Columbia’s replacement of the Forest Practices Code1 with the more results-based Forest Range and Practices Act.2 Although sharing much of the same “command and control” framework as its predecessor, this new Act does provide forest operators with greater flexibility in meeting government-specified objectives. In an attempt to examine factors associated with policy change, this thesis analyzes two forest policy decisions in British Columbia during the 1990s and the early 2000s and compares the utility of two distinctive theoretical frameworks - one stressing the political balance of power of policy actors and the other emphasizing the causal influence of ideas and the importance of policy-oriented learning. The analysis confirms the utility of the two theoretical frameworks in explaining policy change and identifies the limitations of each of the two theoretical lenses. The research findings also suggest that learning exerts an independent causal influence on policies when uncertainty is high, information is incomplete, and most importantly the policy goal is shared by policy actors. As a result, a new synthesis of the two theories is presented. 1 R.S.BC 1996. c. 159. 2 S.B.C 2002, c. 69. 2 1.2 Forest Policy in BC in the 1990s and the Early 2000s Forest policy in British Columbia in the 1990s and the early 2000s experienced dramatic change, from a focus on increasing environmental protection to reducing costs through regulatory reform. In the first half of the 1990s, changes in BC’s forest policies were aimed at transforming the forest industry’s business practices to improve environmental performance. Following the 1991 BC Forest Resources Commission’s report and the election of the New Democratic Party (NDP) government under Premier Michael Harcourt, two major policy initiatives were introduced: 1) a comprehensive, multi-tiered land use planning that involved the public and 2) the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code) that resulted in substantial changes to the forest industry across BC. Other policy initiatives such as the Commission on Resource and Environment (CORE), the new Timber Supply Review (TSR), and the Protected Areas Strategy (PAS) were also brought in by the NDP government to accommodate the increasing pressure for “greener” forest policy. The Code came out to address public interest and environmental concerns, with an assumption that if the government and the industry followed the rules in the Code and its regulations and guidebooks, they would address all elements of forest management. The Code introduced strengthened environmental standards and toughened penalties (Hoberg 2001b, 69), and helped foster public confidence in the forest industry. It addressed the market failure (or externalities) problem and the social value of protecting natural spaces. Before long, however, the BC forest companies began to blame the Code for being overly complex and prescriptive. Many social and economic difficulties such as high delivered wood costs, mill closures, displaced workers, and loss in government revenue were said to be caused by policy decisions, the Code and stumpage increase in particular. The Code was accused of being ineffective and inequitable to taxpayers and industry, leading to a reduction in corporate investment in the sector and an anxiety in forest communities and the general public (Cook 1998). There were increasing doubts about whether the Code necessarily produced or guaranteed better forest management or biological outcomes. Entering the second half of the decade, the BC forest sector campaigned for policy reform. The government undertook the Job and Timber Accord and a series of government-sponsored forest management projects, in an effort to address timber supply issues, delivered wood costs, and employment of forest workers. The government also reduced stumpage rates and reformed the Code, streamlining the forest planning review and approval processes and enacting Part 10.1 for an innovative pilot program. During these policy reforms, new information and concepts were developed and advocated to create shared understanding and promote policy change. Toward the late 1990s and early 2000s, alternative regulatory approaches were tested on the ground, including the Fort St. John Pilot Project conducted in Northeast BC. 3 When a new, more business-oriented government was elected in 2001, reforms were extended further by replacing the Code with the more flexible, results-oriented Forest Range and Practices Act. 1.3 Two Theoretical Frameworks for Explaining Policy Change A variety of approaches have provided explanations for policy change. The Policy Regime Framework (Hoberg 1992, 1998, 2001a) tries to interpret policy by looking at the power dynamics among strategic actors. The Advocacy Coalition Framework (Sabatier & Jenkins-Smith 1993, 1999) seeks to explain policy change by identifying the sources of beliefs that facilitate change. The two frameworks have a lot in common. They both focus on policy domain specific subsystems, and have long term policy change as the dependent variable and exogenous change (or changes in background conditions) as an independent variable. In addition, they both argue that exogenous factors such as public opinion and economic fluctuations can affect the policy subsystem and lead to significant policy change. In absence of external shocks, the two frameworks both maintain that policy change takes place incrementally. The two theories however differ in many aspects. The Advocacy Coalition Framework focuses on learning, explaining policy change with experience-based changes. It stresses the force of causal and normative arguments in bringing about policy change. It downplays power dynamics, including the structural power of business and interest group strategies. The Advocacy Coalition Framework includes government officials in the advocacy coalition and assigns government officials the role of policy brokers, whose principal function is to find some reasonable compromise which minimizes conflict. The Policy Regime Framework on the other hand focuses on power dynamics and policy change resulting from competing strategic actors brining their resources to bear to influence policy. It emphasizes the effect of business structural power in influencing policy direction. It considers ideas as a means to an end, one of several power resources that strategic actors use to shape policies. Applying the Policy Regime Framework in their work, entitled “In Search of Sustainability: British Columbia Forest Policy in the 1990s,” Cashore et al (2001) examined and explained BC’s forest policy change in the 1990s.3 They concluded that the adoption of more environmentally oriented forest practices were explained by a combination of public opinion, a new and more environmentally oriented government, favorable market conditions, and the internationalization of environmental pressure tactics (Hoberg 2001b, 92). How might the Advocacy Coalition Framework, which emphasizes the importance of belief shifts that facilitate policy change, improve the explanation of policy change? 3 The seven subsectors included in Cashore et al’s (2001, Table 9.1 and Table 9.2) work were land use, forest practices, tenure, First Nations, timber supply, pricing, and jobs; and policy communities examined include MoFR, MoELP, business, environmentalists, labours, First Nations, and communities. Cashore et al (2001, Chapter 1, 10 – 7) detail Hoberg’s policy regime approach. 4 1.4 About This Study This study employs the two theoretical frameworks, the Policy Regime Framework and the Advocacy Coalition Framework, to explain policy change in BC’s forest sector in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. The aim is to explore the external and internal agents of policy change, using two case studies of forest practices management in BC: 1) adding Part 10.1 to the Code to allow pilot projects to test alternative forest practices regulatory frameworks, and 2) the Fort St. John Pilot Project that is one of the Part 10.1 pilot projects and conducted in Northeast BC. To achieve this objective, this study relates policy change to shifts in political power and belief systems, and uses the case studies to explore crucial causal factors which explain policy change. This study then contrasts the strength of each of the two theoretical frameworks in explaining policy change. It is hoped that the results of this study will illuminate some of the theories of policy change and contribute to future development of the Policy Regime Framework and the Advocacy Coalition Framework. This study will review literature on policy change and outline the evolution of forest policy in BC and Northeast BC in the 1990s and the early 2000s to provide a theoretical framework and general policy background for the two case studies. A narrative will be presented for each case study4 in terms of policy process, policy content, and policy change. The analysis that follows addresses four research questions: (1) How did the decisions of adding Part 10.1 to the Forest Practices Code to allow pilot projects to experiment results-based forest practices and permitting such a pilot project in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area come about? (2) How much did Part 10.1 and the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP) diverge from the then- existing forest practices policy in BC? (3) What is the relative weight of learning and power in explaining the outcomes of the two cases? (4) How can the insights be used to improve policy theories? This study gathers government publications, news releases, online documents, research findings, and interview reports that describe the construction of the events, experiences, agenda, and decisions for narration and research analysis. Data regarding the origin, rationale, content and effect of the policy decisions are collected and analyzed. Possible explanations for policy change in each case study are depicted in accordance with each of the two theoretical frameworks. Causal relationship among decision-factors and policy outputs are constructed, by showing how certain conditions lead to other conditions. On the whole, 4 Following the definition of case study proposed by Gerring (2004, 342), by case study the author means an intensive study of a single unit for the purpose of understanding a larger class of (similar) units for analysis of policy process and policy change. 5 the results should inform the forest policy community of the potential for and constrains on policy change, and contribute to more effective models of policy change. 1.5 Outline of the Chapters This dissertation is divided into eight chapters. The introductory chapter provides an overview and background of the study; this chapter also defines the research purposes and research questions. Chapter Two outlines the two theoretical frameworks and research design. Chapter Three gives an overview of the BC forest policy in the 1990s and the early 2000s. Chapter Four presents an account of Part 10.1, including its policy process, policy content, and policy change, along with the pilot projects initiated under Part 10.1. Chapter Five reviews forest policy in Northeast BC in the 1990s and the early 2000s. Chapter Six portrays the Fort St. John Pilot Project, including its policy process, policy content, and policy change. Chapter Seven identifies crucial factors that explain the Part 10.1 policy and the Fort St. John Pilot Project based on each of the two chosen theoretical frameworks. Chapter Eight discusses the strength and weakness of each theoretical framework in explaining policy change, using the empirical data derived from chapter seven, and brings forth conclusions of this study. 6 Chapter Two Theoretical Framework and Research Design 2.1 Introduction Sustainable forest management is not only dependent on the biophysical characteristics of the forest ecosystem in question, but is also subject to the interaction among multiple, interdependent stakeholders living in and outside that particular ecosystem. Differences in values and interests among these stakeholders can lead to conflicts over land use and resource management, which some called resource dilemmas.1 Forest operation in BC is a classic example of these resource dilemmas. As described in Chapter One, this study investigates factors that lead to policy change, using multiple-case studies of forest practices policies in BC in the 1990s as a research strategy. This study compares the efficacy of two competing theoretical frameworks - one emphasizing actor-driven power struggles, the other policy-oriented learning. By examining the conditions that lead to policy change, this study also identifies crucial forces for coordination under circumstances of resource dilemmas. As such, it is expected that this study contributes to literature of policy change and resource management. Aspects of these theoretical arguments are presented in section 2.3, and this study’s guiding theoretical frameworks are described in sections 2.4 and 2.5. Section 2.2 describes major study interests, research questions, and research approach. Sections 2.6 to 2.10 denote research hypotheses, research strategies, research variables, data collection, and data analysis. 2. 2 Research Questions This dissertation traces the external and internal agents of policy change over a decade period, using two case studies of forest practices management in BC, a policy area which underwent a series of policy change in the 1990s. The aim was to relate these agents - shifts in the political power and the belief system in particular – to policy change. In doing so, factors that explain policy change can be explored to illuminate the theories of policy change. Two new forest practice regulatory frameworks that evolved in BC in the late 1990s - one at the provincial level and the other at a timber-supply-area level - are selected as case studies for investigation. 1 See Ison, et al (2007, 502) and Blackmore (2007, 512) for the nature of resource dilemmas. 7 In the effort to explain policy change, this study addresses the following research questions: (1) How did the decisions of a) adding Part 10.1 to the Forest Practices Code to allow pilot projects to experiment results-based forest practices and b) permitting such a pilot project in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area come about? (2) How much did Part 10.1 and the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP) diverge from the then- existing forest practices policy in BC? (3) What is the relative weight of learning and power in explaining the outcomes of the two cases? (4) How can the insights be used to improve policy theories? This study pursues the above research questions through case studies to explore how specific actors carried certain ideas and political power into the policy-making process and used them effectively. The research analysis followed two distinctive policy change theoretical frameworks - the Advocacy Coalition Framework (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1993, 1999) and the Policy Regime Framework (Hoberg 2001a). Data collected from public documents and interviews (see Appendices A-D for interview documents and Table 2.2 for a distribution of interviewees’ organizations and regions of this study) were analyzed for evidence of pattern matching the two theoretical frameworks. In so doing, the relative utility of each theoretical framework can be examined. The theoretical frameworks chosen in this study were: (1) The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) that stresses the critical importance of ideas in bringing about policy change, while taking notice of the force of external shocks and the interplay of particular political forces and bureaucratic interests, and (2) The Policy Regime Framework (PRF) that emphasizes the power dynamics of interest groups and bureaucratic politics, and external shocks as important sources of policy change, while relegating the role of ideas to a power source for strategic actors to use in framing their arguments to promote their interests. 2.3 An Overview of the Theories of Policy Change 2.3.1 Problems with the Conventional Rational Choice Theory – The Role of Social Norms, Institutional Structure, and Information in Policy Change The conventional rational choice theory emphasizes interests as a key source of policy making and policy change, assuming interests and preferences are known in advance and people are being motivated by material interests. It maintains that the policy outcomes within a market or economic system are the choices based on rational and profit/utility maximizing calculation under the given institutional rules. However, 8 March and Olsen (1984, 738) contend that institutions (e.g., the bureaucratic agency, the legislative committee, and the court), not just arenas for contending social forces but also collections of standard operating procedures and structures that define and defend interests, may affect policy decisions. North (1990a, Chapter 9) has noted that the incentives built into the institutional framework dictate the opportunities of actors within an economic system. The investment in information and skills leads to a stock of knowledge and expertise. Once a development path is set on a particular course, the network effect, the organizational process, and the derived subjective modeling of the issues reinforce the course. If a policy initiative provides disincentives to the productivity of the existing system, actors with a stake in the existing system will strive to shape the policy in their interests due to the increasing returns mechanisms. Policies thus evolved reinforce the existing incentives and organizations (North 1990a, 99). 2 Pierson (2000b, 257) argues that such increasing return processes are widespread and often more difficult to reverse in politics.3 Moreover, preferences are not always fixed or given, they can be changed or developed through a combination of education, indoctrination, and experience or socialization (March ad Olsen 1984, 739; Coleman 1990, 295-6.)4 Briefly, institutions can influence policy making and policy change. Inadequate information and uncertainty, giving rise to a need and an opportunity for instilling or updating interests and preferences through the revision or development of social norms, also affect actors’ policy choices. In other words, in addition to interests, institutions and information can also be the sources of policy change. 2 Also see Setterfield (1993) and Arthur (1989; 1994) for theory of increasing returns, and Pierson (2000b) for increasing returns in political life. 3 According to Pierson (2000b), political actions such as exercise of power and social interpretation (i.e., the conceptual framework) are prone to increasing returns (or positive feedback), because political actions often require considerable resource input, demand the transmission of information and cooperation, and are based on the knowledge of actors’ perception concerning the issue at hand and environment surrounding it. 4 However, some (e.g. Cook and Emerson 1978; Elster 1989a, 119 and 1989b, 98) contend that social norms (e.g., trust and justice) have a moral force (e.g., a sense of obligation) that runs counter to individuals’ rational considerations therefore cannot be seen in purely rational terms. 9 2.3.2 Policy Image, Institutions, and Actors in Agenda Setting Cobb and Elder postulate that the key to understanding agenda building does not lie in the content of issues but rather on their definition: “how an issue is defined … will have important bearing on the nature and eventual outcome of a conflict” (1983, 96). Political actors battle to influence the public and policymakers’ perception of an issue in order to affect whether an issue gets onto a policy agenda. Baumgartner and Jones (1993) link the definition of policy images (the issue-definition process) and political institutions to policy agendas. In their view, the political world is never at equilibrium; the process of issue development creates and destroys points of stability (22). Political leaders, equipped with ideas and resources available through social and political institutions, are always seeking to either construct a policy image or destroy one in order to achieve their interests. Regarding the role of political actors, some emphasize the critical importance of political actors’ identities and characteristics (e.g., political leaders, interest groups, professionals, and bureaucrats) and the attitudes, resources, and opportunities of political actors in setting the policy agenda. For example, Kingdon (1995) posits that “the greatest policy change grows out of that coupling of problems, policy proposals, and politics” (19). When policy windows of opportunity are open and compelling problem(s) or political event(s) emerge(s), this coupling is most likely to occur. According to Kingdon (1995), “policy entrepreneurs” play crucial role in gaining the attention of important people, in coupling solutions to problems, and in coupling both problems and solutions to politics; and it is the elected officials and their appointees, rather than career bureaucrats or non-government actors, who play a crucial role throughout the agenda setting process. 2.3.3 Power in Policy Change Political scientists tend to emphasize the role of political power in policy change. Based on group conflict theory, they consider “power asymmetries” (or “the conflict among rival groups for scarce resources”) an important force in shaping political institutions (Hall and Taylor 1996, 937). Also, according to North (1990b), institutional changes are usually path-dependent and incremental rather than spontaneous and dramatic.5 Only when actors with bargaining power find it advantageous to alter the existing system and the payoff from such changes is expected to increase substantially, significant policy change may take place (North 1990b, 363). 5 See Arthur (1994, 112) for conditions that give rise to increasing returns. Pierson (2000b, 257) argues that increasing returns processes are prevalent in economic system and political life. Also see North (1990a, 1990b) for the theory of “increasing returns” and Arthur (1989) and North (1990a, 1990b) for discussions of economic path dependence, and Pierson (1993, 2000a, 2000b, 2000c) for discussions of “path dependence” in the political arena. 10 Relating to power, Suchman (1997) posits that political power is dependent on the status-quo-system’s provision of pragmatic benefits both for individuals and society as a whole. Such political power can be gauged in terms of money (or ability to raise, award or withhold money); information, expertise, skills; membership (size, cohesion, density); legitimacy (constitutional rights to making certain type of binding decisions); coalition possibilities/strength; and reputation. 6 Schlozman and Tierney (1986) have recommended a list of power resources for private organizations in politics. The list includes a reputation for being credible and trustworthy, control over technical information and expertise, a wide circle of contacts with well-known and respected leaders, a large membership, an appealing cause, strategically placed allies, and a large budget. Researchers have shown how interest groups in policy arenas strategically wielded these organizational resources to campaign for their interests (e.g. Schlozman and Tierney 1986; Dowding 1991; Baumgartner and Leech 1998). Business structural power is another important policy pressure. Fred Block and Charles Lindblom argue that in any capitalist economic systems, business corporations are in a ‘privileged position’ to influence the levels of economic prosperity and employment that governments deem crucial for their economic performance and chances of reelection (Block 1977; Lindblom 1977, 1982; Wilson 1998, 7). 2.3.4 Actors’ Strategies in Policy Change Bachrach and Baratz (1962) have pointed out the power to exert control on agenda-setting as the most important exercise of political power. Actors adopt strategies to control conflict and agenda-setting, hoping to promote their interests. Such strategies may include framing; forming, breaking or reshuffling alliances; compromising; competing; or feigning. Baumgartner and Leech (1998, 152) offer a summary of lobbying tactics: direct contacts, coalitions, mass media, and presenting research results are examples of the tactics. More recently, Pralle (2006) gives emphasis on the concept of expansion and containment of policy conflict. She lists three categories of conflict expansion and containment strategies - issue definition, actors, and institutions and venues - and details how actors may pursue these strategies in a policy process. Ideas in policy change As mentioned in sections 1.3 and 2.1, scholars contend that changes in beliefs have a profound impact on political actions. They note ways by which ideas affect policy decisions (e.g., Goldstein and Keohane 1993, 4).7 In their view, the ideational context of political discourse, paradigms, policy preferences, or other 6 Also see Dowding (1991) for discussions of power resources. 7 According to Goldstein and Keohane (1993), ideas can affect the understanding of causal connections and therefore expectations concerning the likely outcome of policy choices. Second, when ideas become 11 shared expectations and interpretation of policy consequences that policy actors operate within may be communicated, translated, and seized as road maps or focal points to articulate actors’ interests or improve mutual understanding and update the belief system (Goldstein and Keohane 1993). Campbell (1998, 384-5) argues that ideas (e.g., paradigms, public sentiments, programs, and frames), through various pathways, exert unique effects on policy making.8 Also, Blyth (1999, Abstract) writes that ideas are weapons to contest the rationale of an existing institutional order, blueprints for alternative institutional design, and conventions which provide institutional stability. Similar to March and Olsen (1984, 738) and Coleman (1990, 295-6) who emphasize the role of social norms in affecting people’s behaviors and choices, some institutional economists and political scientists also note that ideas contribute to the shaping of institutions (e.g., North 1990b, 363; Hall and Taylor 1996, 937). Hall and Taylor (1996, 595-7) argue that the social norms and practices provide moral or cognitive templates (or filters) for interpretations and actions and affect an actor’s identities, self-images, and preferences. Such notion echoes Weaver and Rockman’s (1993, 460-1) view that the process of institutional change is not only influenced by a given government capability, but also conditioned by other factors such as worldview and culture. With ideas, preferences can be guided in the bargaining games of policy actors (John 2003, 487), and people can engage in policy deliberation, tailor new model to existing institutions, and create transposition (Campbell 1998, 383).9 Issue definition strategies Because ideas can exert such effects on people’s actions and choices, many researchers have pinpointed the importance of issue definition (or framing). An idea’s character, meaning, or significance can be influenced by the act of issue definition (or framing), which produces a specific statement that conveys the idea. Issue definition (or framing) influences the image and fortune of an idea in a policy process. When an idea institutionalised they often acquire increased power and stability. Third, ideas can affect the outcome when there are multiple possible equilibriums causing coordination problems either among members of a coalition or between negotiating opponents. 8 In Campbell’s (1998, 385-6 and 389-390) words, paradigms are ideas of broad theoretical and ontological assumptions about how the world works for defining the terrain of policy discourses and screening the programmatic ideas, and programs are ideas of causal effects and prescriptions for actions for stakeholders’ deliberations. As well, frames are ideas of symbols and concepts that help actors to legitimize policy solution to the public (Campbell 1998, 385), and how programmatic ideas are strategically framed is also important (Campbell 1998, 394). 9 In Jacobsen’s (1995, p.300) view, this line of argument differs from that of the institutional framework theory, which confers all power on the institutional framework and leaves no space for innovation or ingenuity on the part of actors. 12 become legitimized as social norms or practices through the political actors’ effort in issue definition, the idea is likely to leave an imprint on all succeeding policies. Rochefort and Cobb (1993, 56-7) examine the malleable nature of public issues and discuss the importance of problem definition in affecting the conception of the seriousness of a problem and the level of attention devoted to it. Similarly, Baumgartner and Leech emphasize the effect of issue definition on policy making. Actors may try to contain conflict by defining the issues in narrow terms to limit public attention and political involvement, while trying to expand the scope of conflict by defining the issues in broader terms to engage a wider range of values and interests in the policy process (Baumgartner and Leech 1998, 39-40). Campbell specifies four types of ideas - paradigms, public sentiments, programs, and frames - and argues that how these ideas are strategically framed is important (Campbell 1998, 394). Campbell (1998, 385, 394, and 398) observes that strategic actors often deliberately manipulate public sentiments and structure ideas to provide specific solution to policy problems for their own purposes. Stone (1989, 282) writes that “our understanding of real situations is always mediated by ideas; those ideas in turn are created, changed, and fought over in politics.” She considers that “problem definition is a process of image making, where the images have to do fundamentally with attributing cause, symbolic devices to manipulate so-called issue characteristics, all the while making it seem as though they are simply describing facts” (1989, 282). Political leaders, Stone (1989, 282) argues, compose “causal stories” that “describe harms and difficulties, attribute them to actions of other individuals or organizations, and thereby claim the right to invoke government power to stop the harm.” As well, Litfin (1994) emphasizes the use of language and symbols in framing an issue and argues that the ability to frame and interpret scientific information is a major source of political power. According to Jacobsen (1995, 294), what is the most important is not an idea’s cogency - its intrinsic force, logic, and viability - but how well the idea is framed or defined to suit social values and interests of policy entrepreneurs and/or policymakers. In short, this line of argument suggests that actors understand the power of ideas and work to shape ideas to promote their interests. They make reference to the meaning or significance of an idea and the established routines, norms, or practices. These ideas and norms are arrived at by effort of issue definition. Accordingly, ideas can be dangerous to foes, helpful to friends, or a heuristic in puzzling situations. Ideas can be contested as a part of any policy debates (Campbell 1998, 384) or serve to reconcile the interests for forming a coalition capable of enacting a winning policy proposal (Jacobsen 1995, 294). Similarly, Alder and Haas (1992) advocate the need for the political infiltration of an epistemic community to promote its arguments for reality (379), and emphasize the importance of tailoring information to suit the 13 political goals of decision makers (381). They point out that it appears to be true that “[ideas] close to the mainstream have a greater propensity to acquire influence than those further away” (1992, 381-2) and that expert communities serve to “facilitate or legitimate package deals” and “[broaden] the bargaining space” (Alder and Haas 1992, 382). In brief, ideas require political infiltration and matching with the existing interest-related criteria to exert policy effects. Scholars have called attention to the influence of the interplay of ideas and interests on policymaking. Jacobsen (1995, 299) suggests that it is plausible to regard the extent to which ideas are politically adaptable as limited by circumstances, interests, and social beliefs. Likewise, Campbell (1998, 400) maintains: “cognitive and normative fit and proper framing are necessary but not inevitably sufficient conditions for policy makers to adopt and deploy a programmatic idea. It is the interaction of ideas and interests that is ultimately the important thing for scholars to consider.” Peter John (2003, 487) stresses that ideas are closely connected to political interests, neither determined by them nor determining of them. Actor-based strategies Pralle (2006, 15-6) suggests that managing the extent of participation, labeling opponents as enemies, and encouraging conflict (and the appearance of it) constitute actor-based strategies. Actors or coalitions may try to expand (or limit) the number of participants involved in a problem, attract (or defer) prominent or reputable actors to participate in the problem, label (or breakup) contending alliances, and encourage conflict (or consensus) in hopes of expanding (or containing) the conflict. Other actor-based strategies, as Pralle (2006, 16 and 24) has identified, include reshuffling opponents and encouraging consensus and cooperation. “It is not just numbers that matter, who gets involved is also important,” writes Pralle (2006, 24). Institutions and venues strategies In addition to framing and actor-based strategies, institutions also matter in the policy process. Hoberg (2000, 28) suggests that “institutional rules shape the resources that interests can bring to bear and the strategies that they can adopt in pursuing those interests.” As Pralle (2006) has shown, actors may choose to vary jurisdictional boundaries, pursue different level of authority, or change the rules of the game to increase their chance of success in a policy conflict. For example, Hoberg shows how different institutional structures in Canada and the U.S. influence actor resources and strategies in forest policy. The U.S. system promotes both a reliance on courts and a focus on the federal government. With institutional opportunities for judicialization and nationalization limited, Canadian activists shifted the venue to the international arena (Hoberg 2000; Pralle 2006). 14 2.3.5 External Shocks in Policy Change According to Alder and Haas (1992, 380), external shocks (e.g., crises and dramatic events) often accelerate the diffusion of ideas and lend urgency to the search of alternatives; these shocks trigger a quest for expertise, bring about increasing concern and uncertainty about the existing system, and alert decision makers the gravity of the threat. Case studies conducted by researchers have shown that it is much easier for politicians to accept new proposal after external shocks, because the shocks change the conditions sufficiently to minimize the cost of adopting a new approach (Alder and Haas, 1992, 383). As well, Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, in their policy change theory of Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), maintain that shifts in core beliefs barely occur except as a result of “external shocks” to a policy subsystem (see Sections 2.3.7 and 2.4.2 below). Similarly, Hoberg (1992; 2001a) posits that when there is a significant social, political or market change (i.e., an exogenous shock), contradictions within the policy- making system can emerge, and this may subsequently lead to the transformation of the policy regime (see Section 2.4.1 below). 2.3.6 Public Opinion in Policy Change Public opinion, which is comprised of broad-based attitudes, desires, and political legitimacy, also plays a vital role in policy change (Campbell 1998).10 Hoberg (2001a) regards ideas and public opinion as, among others, important components that bring along policy change. In Hoberg’s view, public opinion is relatively independent from political process and can sometimes become a powerful source of policy change; hence ideas must appeal not only to crucial interests groups but also social needs. Also emphasizing the public’s relative autonomy, Jacobsen (1995, 305) argues that “an experienced public is not at the mercy of experts and self-interested parties, because it has reasonable memory and grounds by which to judge political proposals.” He believes that “nonelites are not so haplessly manipulated with respect to ideas” and that “[public opinions] can help shape the preferences of other actors regarding the framing of a situation and, consequently, the “correct” policy solution” (310). Campbell (1998, 385 and 392) classifies public sentiment as a type of idea that restricts the normative range of solutions viewed as politically acceptable. He maintains that even if a solution is deemed instrumentally effective, it may not receive serious consideration if it lacks political legitimacy.11 10 Campbell (1998, 385 and 392) defines public sentiments as the public’s ideological assumptions that are situated in the background of the policy deliberation and constrain the normative range of legitimate solutions available to policymakers. He also argues that because public sentiment covers such a wide range of issues, it does not necessarily constitute a coherent, consistent set of issue positions, i.e., broad-based sentiment in one issue area may contradict that in another. 11 Even so, Campbell (1998, 394) notes that public sentiments and intellectual paradigms are rarely so precise and consistent that they determine specific policy choices in their own right. 15 2.3.7 Learning in Policy Change Heclo (1974, 305-6) argues that “Politics finds its sources not only in power but also in uncertainty – men collectively wondering what to do…Governments not only ‘power’…they also puzzle. Policy-making is a form of collective puzzlement on society’s behalf.” Thus, some believe learning is a key source of change in human actions. For example, Sabatier (1987, 650) considers dominant belief systems the key element in a policy-oriented learning process, which tends to lead to policy change. This alternative theoretical paradigm is one that puts greater emphasis on acquisition and utilization of knowledge in the process of policy change. The following sections highlight some key viewpoints of this line of argument. Bennett & Howlett review the policy change literature that is based on the notion of learning. They recap three types of learning: government learning, lesson-drawing, and social learning, and suggest that the learning process, for each type of learning, involves three key elements: the subject of learning (who learns), the object of learning (learns what), and the results of learning (what effect) (Bennett & Howlett 1992, 278-288). They also find the definition of learning in political science varies considerably between authors, but a learning model generally holds that governments can learn from their experience and they can modify their present actions based on their interpretation of how previous actions failed (Bennett & Howlett 1992, 276). With regard to who learns, Etheredge (1981, 77-8) suggests that the government actors are the most important learners; an increase in their intelligence and sophistication enhances the effectiveness of government actions. So does Hall (1988) who regards policy change as a result of government learning, and argues that learning is a “deliberate attempt to adjust the goals or techniques of policy in the light of the consequences of past policy and new information so as to better attain the ultimate objectives of governance” (6). On the other hand, Heclo (1974, 306) suggests that “learning can be taken to mean a relatively enduring alternation in behaviour that results from experience; usually this alternation is conceptualized as a change made in reaction to some perceived stimulus.” He emphasizes social actors’ learning that creates an external environment to which policymakers must respond. Later on, Sabatier (1988), Rose (1991), and Hall (1993) propose that both governmental and social actors are important learners and they influence the behaviour of each other. Concerning what is learned, Hall (1993) regards policy itself, including policy objectives and policy instruments, as the object of learning. At the same time, Rose’s (1991; 1993) notion of “lesson-drawing” also suggests that the programs and policies developed in one jurisdiction can be emulated by others and diffused throughout the world. Alder and Haas (1992, 385-8) too view policy evolution, which is 16 characterized by the diffusion, selection, and persistence of political innovations, as an important source of learning. Sabatier (1988), instead, considers the belief systems the object of learning. As to how learning takes place, Haas (1992a, 2) argues that networks of knowledge-based experts, which he refers to as “epistemic communities,” play a crucial role in “articulating the cause-and-effect relationships of complex problems, helping states identify their interests, framing the issues for collective debate, proposing specific policies, and identifying salient points for negotiation.” An epistemic community, according to Haas (1992a), is “a network of professionals with recognized expertise and competence in a particular domain and an authoritative claim to policy-relevant knowledge within that domain or issue area” (3). These experts share a set of normative and principled beliefs, causal beliefs, notions of validity, and a common policy enterprise. Haas (1992a) posits that “controls over knowledge and information can lead to new patterns of behaviour and prove to be an important determinant of international policy coordination” (2-3). He provides situations where epistemic communities contribute in framing the issues, influencing subsequent negotiations, and bringing about policy change (1992a, 5). The work of Haas (1992a) on epistemic communities, as Goldstein and Keohane (1993, 11 and note 18) have recognized, provides substantial support, within particular institutional contexts, for the argument that ideas matter. Alternatively, Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith develop the “Advocacy Coalition Framework” (ACF) which maintains that policy-oriented learning is an important source of policy change. They emphasize the importance of shared belief systems to the creation of advocacy coalitions and hence the outcome of public policy, and advocate the role of information in persuading decision-makers and learning that lead to shifts in perceptions (or beliefs, worldviews) in the process of policy change. They also presume that advocacy coalitions group the actors within a policy subsystem, and that each coalition consists of individuals “who share a particular belief system – i.e., a set of basis values, causal assumptions, and problem perceptions – and who show a non-trivial degree of coordinated activity over time” (Sabatier 1988, 139). In the ACF, a policy subsystem consists of actors from “public and private organizations who are actively concerned with a policy problem” (Sabatier 1988, 131). A paradigm shift, where the fundamental goals held by the dominant coalition(s) are revised in response to what has been learned, rarely comes about, except as a result of “external shocks” to a policy subsystem (Sabatier 1988). Lertzman, Rayner, and Wilson (1996b), however, argue that a non-crisis path to paradigm shift is possible if the learned ideas can become legitimatized through advocacies of actors that possess the freedom of movement. Lertzman, Rayner, and Wilson (1996b) also point out that scientific uncertainty may as well facilitate the non-crisis or incremental path to paradigm shift. 17 2.4 The Guiding Theoretical Frameworks One main research objective of this study is to explore the extent of “the evolution of collective understandings among stakeholders” and “the interest-driven power struggle” in explaining forest policy change in BC. The Part 10.1 legislation (the 1999 Bill 82) and the Fort St. John Pilot Project (made effective in December 2001) were selected as research case studies. The Advocacy Coalition Framework (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1993; 1999) and the Policy Regime Framework (Hoberg 2001a) were chosen as representatives of distinctive theoretical approaches. A brief review of the two guiding theories is provided next. 2.4.1 The Policy Regime Framework (the PRF) The Policy Regime Framework (the PRF) Based upon an earlier version of the regulatory regime model (Hoberg 1992, 5-6), Hoberg (2001a) develops the Policy Regime Framework (the PRF), arguing that under the potential influence of public opinion, political environment, and socio-economic conditions, the interaction among actors within a particular institutional and ideological context produces distinctive policy outcomes (Hoberg 2001a, 12). The framework has been applied as a general model to explain Canadian forest policy and policy-making in the 1990s (Cashore et al. 2001). Policy as a Political Outcome In Hoberg’s (2001a) regime framework, government’s decisions and actions concerning each policy area are essentially political outcomes of interaction of actors within a policy community. Different from classical rational choice approach, Hoberg considers not just material interests but also ideas as factors associated with policy change. Policy makers and other actors, both public and private, all pursue their interests within a particular institutional and ideational context. The institutional and ideational context frames issues, structures incentives, and allocates advantages and disadvantages to different actors. (Hoberg 2001a, 14) Because the regime approach is centered on strategic actors behaving in accordance with the institutional and ideational contexts, some major pressures for change emerge from within the policy regime. But, the regime components (see below) operate within a larger environment of background conditions, including economic conditions, elections, public opinion, and the broader macro-political system. Powerful pressures for change could emanate from these background conditions (Hoberg 2001a). Accordingly, the Policy 18 Regime Framework suggests that the dominant institutions, governing ideas, and strategic behaviour of actors influence government actions and policies. Policy Regime Components – Actors, Institutions, and Ideas Following the Policy Regime Framework, decisions on any public policies take place as a result of the influence of a distinctive policy regime and the external shocks. The policy regime is formed by three interacting components: (1) the webs of relationships (especially the proximity to power) among actors (both public and private and in terms of the number and variety), (2) the institutions that shape the resources and strategies of actors, and (3) the ideas/beliefs identified and/or held by actors to make sense of their strategies and goal and to restrict the range of alternatives. Policy change takes place when there are powerful pressures emanating from background conditions such as changes in markets or politics, domestic or international. These conditions provide the impetus for change by shifting the resources and strategies available to actors (Hoberg 2001a, 14). Actors situated in the web of relationship have interests they attempt to pursue through the political process. They also have resources they bring to bear in their efforts to influence public policy, and strategies they use to employ those resources in the pursuit of those interests. Having authority as a political resource and the desire to be reelected, government officials, elected and appointed, are typically the most important actors - distinct from private actors - determining policy choices (Hoberg 2001a, 10 and 13). The relationships among actors are usually uneven, because actors differ significantly in their influence and proximity to power and their ability to affect policy outcomes (Hoberg 2001a, 11). Institutions structure the authority and relations among government actors, and influence the relations between societal interests and the state. By specifying how interest groups can participate in the policy process, institutional rules shape the resources actors can bring to bear and the strategies they adopt in pursuing those interests (Hoberg 2001a, 11).12 Actors, cognizant of the structural biases of particular contexts, frequently adopt strategies to alter the institutional arena or ideational context of decisions to promote their own interests (Hoberg 1998, 9). The PRF views ideas as a means to an end and learning as neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for policy change. Hoberg (2001a) explains that “Ideas inform the interests and strategies of actors, and they can provide valuable political resources for actors” and that “Because of the importance of institutions and ideas, strategic actors attempt to alter institutions and reshape ideas to advance their interests” (12). The 12 This echoes Sven Steinmo’s (1989, 501) remarks that the institutional framework provides the context in which groups and individuals interpret their self-interest and thereby define their self-interest, cited in Jacobsen (1995, 300). 19 PRF also assumes the tactical role of ideas in policy process, arguing that in framing their arguments, actors appeal to widely shared values and expert authority as much as possible, and that when knowledge is contested, actors select those arguments most consistent with their interests (Hoberg 2001a, 14, 16). Learning occurs only when actors adopt new beliefs about their interests or the best strategies to pursue those interests (Hoberg 2001a, 14). Therefore, learning is neither easy nor inevitable, as actors with conflicting interests will contest the meaning and significance of various consequences (Hoberg 2001a, 17). Structural Power of Business Fred Block (1977), Charles Lindblom (1977; 1982) and many others have noted that the most important power resource of business is its control over investment and jobs. This particular type of power resource - structural power of business - puts constraints on the policymaking capacities of elected officials (Wilson 1998, 7; Hoberg 2001a, 15; Bernhagen and Bräuninger 2005, 45).13 In a market economy, the driving force behind jobs is business investment, thus, governments have a definite incentive to create and maintain a healthy business climate that attracts investments (Hoberg 2001a, 15). The business structural power argument assumes that elected officials perceive their chances of re-election to increase under a strong economy and reduce under a weak one (Mitchell 1997, 61-2). Hoberg (2001a, 15) argues there is an inverse relationship between profitability and the power resources of industry groups, predicting that when business is booming, industry is less likely to make job-loss threats, and when it does, the threats are taken less seriously. When business is poor and its profitability declines, business threats of shutdowns and layoffs seem very credible, and governments tend to be highly responsive (Hoberg 2001a, 15). In short, reduced profits of capitalists will lead to elected officials’ tendency to adopt policies that encourage investment and avoid any policies that decrease investment (M.A. Smith 2000, 146; Hoberg 2001a, 15; Bernhagen and Bräuninger 2005, 45).14 Public Opinion and Politicians The Policy Regime Framework also emphasizes the influence of public opinion and politicians on policy. It professes that big changes in policy are unlikely without a burst in public salience of new values (Hoberg 2001a, 16). Equally, significant changes in policy are unlikely without the intervention of elected officials 13 Business structural power is also recognized as the ‘business confidence’ (Block 1977, 16-7), the ‘privileged position of business in the political system of all market oriented societies’ (Lindblom 1982, 326), and the ‘structural dependence of the state on capital’ (Przeworski and Wallerstein 1988; Swank 1992), or as the ‘structural power’ of business (M.A. Smith 2000, Chapter 7; Bernhagen and Bräuninger 2005, 45). 14 Moreover, elected officials may make these efforts even without any actions taken by business members against the regime in power, any social ties with business members, or any other direct means of business influence (Lindblom 1977, 175; Block 1977, 19; and M.A Smith 2000, 146). 20 (Hoberg 2001a, 16). When faced with broader publics who get interested and electoral threats and opportunities, elected officials are motivated to use their power to change policy to advance their interests, so long as they can construct a winning governing coalition, as Hoberg (2001a, 16) explains. To sum up, the Policy Regime Framework posits that actors participating in a policy regime would try to affect the nature and the outcome of a conflict in hopes of best protecting their interests. Under the influence of public opinion, political environment, and socio-economic conditions, the interaction among actors within a particular institutional and ideological context produces distinctive policy outcomes. Each actor in the policy regime carries a certain degree of political power endowed by the institutional and economic structures, organizes not just material resources but also ideas as political resources, and adopts strategies in pursuit of their goals. As a result, public policy is determined under the influence of a distinctive policy regime and pressures originating from background conditions such as changes in markets or politics, domestic or international. The changes in background conditions shift the power resources and strategies for actors, thereby providing the impetus for change (Hoberg 2001a, 14). 2.4.2 The Advocacy Coalition Framework (the ACF) As mentioned in section 2.3.7, Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith’s Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) considers policy change as a function of: (1) external shocks (e.g., changes in socioeconomic conditions) to a policy subsystem; (2) polity-oriented learning as a result of the interaction of competing advocacy coalitions within a policy subsystem; and (3) the effects of relatively stable system parameters (e.g., constitutional rules, basic socio-cultural values and social structure) (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 121). A policy subsystem consists of those actors from a variety of public and private organizations who are actively concerned with a policy problem or issue, and regularly seek to influence public policy in that domain (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 119). Actors within the subsystem can be aggregated into a number of “advocacy coalitions” each possessing a set of shared normative and causal beliefs and engaging in coordinated activities over time (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 120).15 Belief Systems The belief system of each advocacy coalition includes a three-part hierarchical structure: the deep core (i.e., fundamental normative and ontological axioms) at the highest/broadest level, the policy core beliefs (i.e., 15 Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1999, 120) also point out that, at any given point in time, the subsystem will usually contain a number of individuals and organizations unassociated with any coalition, but they assume that most will not be important in the long term because they will either leave (out of frustration or lack of interest) or get incorporated into one of the coalitions. 21 basic policy choices and causal assumptions) at the next level, and a set of secondary aspects at the third level (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 122, 133). Compared to deep core beliefs, policy core beliefs are less rigidly held, most involve empirical elements that may change over a period of time with the gradual accumulation of evidence. The secondary aspects of a belief system are assumed to be even more readily adjusted in light of new data, new experience, or changing strategic considerations (Sabatier and Jenkins- Smith 1999, 122). Therefore, the ACF predicts that coalitions would resist changing their deep core, policy core beliefs, or important secondary aspects of their belief systems – a phenomenon the ACF terms perceptual filtering. Only very solid empirical evidence is likely to lead to change in their belief system (Jenkins-Smith & Sabatier 1993, 43-4; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 123, 125). Accordingly, policy-oriented learning often only alters secondary aspects of a coalition’s belief system. Changes in the core aspects of a policy usually requires a perturbation in non-cognitive factors external to the subsystem such as macro-economic conditions or the rise of a new systematic governing ideologically- based advocacy coalition (Sabatier 1988, 134; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 120, 123, 125).16 These shocks can dramatically alter the composition and resources of various coalitions and, in turn, public policy within the subsystem (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 123). Advocacy Coalitions and Policy Brokers Members of each advocacy coalition act in concert based on their respective belief systems “to manipulate the rules of various government intuitions to achieve” their shared goals (Sabatier 1988, 153). They do so by using information to persuade policymakers, altering the decision choice forum, or supporting government officials who share their views or may even be members of the coalition. Conflicting policy arguments from coalitions, Sabatier (1988, 133, 152) suggests, are normally mediated by a third group of actors, termed ‘policy brokers,’ whose principle concern is to find some reasonable compromise which will reduce intense conflict. As Sabatier explains, though many policy brokers will have some policy bent, they still show some serious concern with system maintenance; they are interested in keeping the conflict within acceptable limits (1988, 141, 152). In Sabatier’s view, high civil servants may be brokers, while acting as policy advocates, and the result of brokering is often some sort of governmental action program. 16 Nevertheless, Sabatier (1988, 149) professes that in the absence of external perturbations policy-oriented learning may occasionally lead to a revision of core aspects. As noted earlier, Lertzman et al. (1996b) also argue that a non-crisis path to paradigm shift is possible if the learned ideas can become legitimized through advocacies of actors/coalitions/politicians/bureaucrats that posses the freedom of movement. In addition, both Sabatier (1988) and Lertzman et al. (1996b) recognize that scientific uncertainty may too facilitate the non-crisis of incremental path to paradigm shift. 22 Policy-Oriented Learning With an emphasis on information and learning, the ACF, following Heclo (1974, 306), defines policy- oriented learning as relatively enduring alternations of thought or behavioral intentions that result from experience and/or new information and that are concerned with the attainment or revision of policy objectives (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 123). The ACF assumes that such learning is instrumental for better understanding the world in order to further policy objectives (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 123). It suggests that experience and/or new information is most likely to be developed and accepted, or learned across coalitions 1) in fields where accepted quantitative data and consensual theories are available; 2) in the natural sciences more than the social sciences; 3) when there exists a prestigious professional forum requiring the participation of experts from various coalitions; and 4) in situations involving an intermediate level of informed debate or conflict - high enough to be worth expanding analytical resources but not involving direct normative conflict (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 125).17 On the other hand, because members of an advocacy coalition are always seeking to improve their understanding of variable states and casual relationships which are consistent with their policy core, Sabatier (1988, 155) asserts, policy- oriented learning within a belief system is relatively unproblematic. System Parameters and External Shocks Furthermore, the ACF, like the PRF, agrees that the effects of ideas, and thus the policy-oriented learning, are also dependent on the relatively stable system parameters (e.g., constitutional rules, basic social structure), which may enhance or offset such effects (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 120-1). In short, the ACF considers external disturbances (e.g., changes in socio-economic conditions or the rise of social movement), changes in the systemic governing coalition (e.g., election), or policy decisions and impacts from other subsystems as sources for shifting coalition resources and/or the perception of policy problem and subsequently a policy change (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 120). 17 The ACF framework posits that at the intermediate level of informed debate or conflict, where each side of the debate or conflict has sufficient resources to criticize the other’s causal models and has the incentive to expend scarce resources to engage in an analytical debate, policy-oriented learning across belief systems is most likely to take place (Jenkins-Smith & Sabatier 1993, 50; Sabatier 1988, 155). Also, when a policy debate or conflict forum is prestigious enough to encourage professionals from different coalitions to participate and dominated by professional norms, policy-oriented learning across belief system is likely to occur, because analytical claims are subject to a more restrictive, consensual basis for validation (Sabatier 1988, 156; Jenkins-Smith 1988, 204). 23 Policy-Oriented Learning across Belief Systems Policy-oriented learning across belief systems, as Sabatier (1988, 155) posits, requires favorable conditions to facilitate. Such favorable conditions can include technical resources available to engage in a debate and/or a conflict not being between the core aspects of the competing belief systems. For across-belief- system policy-oriented learning, Sabatier (1988, 155) suggests an indicator of a productive debate across coalitions: one or both advocacy coalitions being led to alter policy core aspects or very important secondary aspects of belief system as a result of an observed dialogue rather than a change in external conditions. Nonetheless, Sabatier (1988, 158) professes that while policy analysis and learning can strongly affect secondary aspects of belief systems, changes in the core aspects of subsystem policy are usually the result of alternations in non-cognitive systemic parameters. Also, in a new policy area, knowledge about the seriousness of the problem and the validity of various causal assumptions is normally sufficiently uncertain that the initial governmental program involves a significant research component but little coercion (Sabatier 1988, 152-3). But, as Sabatier (1998, 153) acknowledges, for this kind of ‘research’ programs to take place, the political resources of those challenging the status quo need to be sufficiently modest. In brief, the ACF argues that there exist sets of core ideas about causation and values in public policy (Sabatier and Jenkins- Smith 1993). It emphasizes the generation of policy ideas/preferences from technical experts and professionals, and considers policy oriented-learning more of a result of 1) the emergence of belief systems, 2) the presence of good performance indicators and the ease of developing causal models, 3) the extent of informed conflict, 4) the presence of prestigious forum requiring participation of experts, and 5) changing preference of beliefs on the part of critical actors (Sabatier 1988, 155; Sabatier 1998, 156). The ACF differs from interest group politics in that the latter views policy change as a result of political bargaining games of strategic actors (e.g. Dowding 1995, 148) or the appearance of new actors with new preferences (Schlager & Blomquist 1996, 658). From the ACF’s viewpoint, it is the updated belief that leads to an alternation in the structure and memberships of the coalitions and therefore the power balance (John 2003, 490). Based on the ACF, public policies can be conceptualized as belief systems (see Dowding 1995) and a history of contest of ideas rather than interests (John 2003, 487). 2.5 Distinguishing the Advocacy Coalition Framework from the Policy Regime Framework Though similar in some aspects, the PRF and the ACF differ in several viewpoints. The PRF emphasizes that each group of the actors has its own political interests it pursues through the public policy process. In contrast, the ACF focuses on each actor’s ideas (or belief systems) about public issues, assuming that actors 24 would coalesce with others who share the same beliefs to persuade policymakers, alter the decision choice forum, and support government officials who share their views, in hopes of embedding personal ideas (or belief systems) into public policy. As a result, despite both acknowledging the importance of external shocks, their attention to the after-shock driving force for policy change differs distinctly. Actors, according to the ACF, are motivated by shared values and normative conceptions that are most likely developed through policy-oriented learning. The PRF, in contrast, focuses on actors responding based on perceived threats to their interests. As well, the PRF views government officials (who have authority as a political resource and the desire to be reelected) as autonomous and the most important in determining policy choices, while the ACF considers government officials as policy brokers and part of the dominant coalitions that institute policy program. In dealing with policy issues affecting the cost of business, the PRF highlights the effect of business structural power, while the ACF stresses the combined effect of perception filtering and policy-oriented learning resulting from analytical debates. Accordingly, the PRF predicts that the resultant policy favors actors exerting sufficient political power, whereas the ACF argues that the policy outcome will be in line with the belief system of those successful in analytical debate. For the major force behind policy change, the PRF puts emphasis on power struggles that safeguard interests; the ACF calls attention to learning and the dictates of technical information that concerns the magnitude and facets of the problem, its causes, and the impacts of various solutions (Sabatier 1988, 153; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 118). Table 2.1 summarizes the similarities and differences between the ACF and the PRF. 25 Table 2.1 The ACF versus the PRF Aspects PRF ACF Similarities Unit of analysis Policy domain specific subsystem Dependent variable Long-term policy change Independent variable External shocks Differences Sources of changes Power struggles that safeguard interests Learning and shared beliefs Role of officials Having authority in determining policy choices Policy brokers Role of ideas One kind of power resources Sources of belief shifts 2.6 Research Hypotheses Based upon the above two distinctive theoretical frameworks, this study tests the following hypotheses in explaining policy change: 2.6.1 Hypotheses Based on the Policy Regime Framework Concerning the Influence of Ideas HPRF-A: Ideas that are compatible with the interests or values of the relevant public or the views of acknowledged experts in the field are more likely to be embedded in policy outcomes (Hoberg 2001a, 14, 16). Concerning Public Opinion and Politicians HPRF-B: When broader publics get interested and electoral threats emerge, elected officials are more likely to get involved and use their power to change policy to advance their interests (Hoberg 2001a, 16). 26 Concerning Power Resources HPRF-C: When the availability of jobs is low, governments are more likely to remain attuned to business interests (Hoberg 2001a, 15). HPRF-D: Resource-rich actors have higher rates of achieving their own interests than do poorly- resourced ones (Hoberg 2001a; Pralle 2006). HPRF-E: The interest of government officials, relative to those of other actors, is more likely to be reflected in policy outcomes (Hoberg 2001a, 10, 13). Concerning Strategic Actions HPRF-F: Actors proficient in strategies have higher rates of realizing their interests in the policy outcome (Hoberg 2001a, 14). 2.6.2 Hypotheses Based on the Advocacy Coalition Framework Concerning Advocacy Coalitions HACF-A: The lineup of allies and opponents that are formed based on belief systems tends to be stable (Sabatier 1988, 141; Sabatier & Jenkins-Smith 1999, 130-1; Sabatier and Jenkins- Smith 1999, 123-4). Concerning Policy-Oriented Learning across Coalitions HACF-B: Policy-oriented learning across belief systems is more likely to occur in situations involving an intermediate level of conflict - high enough to be worth expending analytical resources but not involving direct normative conflict (Sabatier 1988, 155; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 124-5). HACF-C: Policy-oriented learning across belief systems is more likely to occur when there is a prestigious professional forum requiring the participation of experts from various coalitions (Sabatier 1988, 156; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 124-5). HACF-D: Policy-oriented learning across belief systems is more likely to occur if accepted quantitative data (e.g., performance indicators) and consensual theories (or the ease of developing causal models) are available (Sabatier 1998, 156; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 124). Concerning Policy Change HACF-E: Critical policy core or important secondary attributes of a governmental program will not be significantly revised as long as the subsystem advocacy coalition that institutes the program remains in power (Sabatier 1988, 148; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 124-5). 27 HACF-F: Critical policy core or important secondary aspects attributes of a governmental program will not be significantly revised in the absence of a perturbation external to the subsystem (Sabatier 1988, 148; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 123, 125). HACF-G: When there is no widespread agreement on seriousness of problem and importance of various causes - and the political resources of those challenging the status quo sufficiently modest - there will be the development of a government program/policy with a strong research component but little coercion (Sabatier 1998, 153). 2.7 Multiple-case Studies as a Research Strategy Methods of social science research can include experiment, survey, history, case study, and archival analysis. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages. Yin (2003, 1, 5) considers three conditions as important factors in choosing the proper research strategy: (a) the type of research question, (b) the control an investigator has over actual behavioral events, and (c) the focus on contemporary as opposed to historical phenomena. A case study is the preferred strategy to address the “how” or “why” research questions, the problem of investigator having no control of the behavioral events, and a research focusing on contemporary events (Yin 2003, 5). Nonetheless, a case study is not helpful in answering the 'what' questions, or in describing the prevalence of a phenomenon and predicting certain outcomes. Nor does it provide control of the events (Yin 2003, 5-6). Since this study sought to answer questions of “how” and “why,” it chose case study as a research strategy. In addition, this study adopted multiple-case studies as a research strategy to maximize the quality of research design. Yin (2003, 47) suggests that because the evidence from multiple cases is often considered more compelling, the overall (multiple cases) study is regarded as being more robust. He advises to settle for two or three literal replications when the rival theories are grossly different and the issue at hand does not demand an excessive degree of certainty (2003, 51). In Yin’s (2003, 50) opinion, even with two cases, one can have the possibility of direct replication, because analytic conclusions independently arising from two cases will be more powerful than those coming from a single case alone. If common conclusions from both cases can be arrived at, they will expand the external generalizability of the research findings (Yin, 2003, 53). Following Yin’s recommendations, this study elected to include two case studies, as the two theoretical frameworks examined in this study were not in total contrast. In this study, each individual case study is treated as a “whole” study, where convergent evidence is sought regarding the facts and conclusions for the case. Each case’s conclusions then provide the information needing replication by other individual cases. Also, both the individual cases and the replication results are included in Chapter Eight for discussions and conclusions. For each individual case, the report indicates how a particular hypothesis is supported (or not supported). Across cases, this 28 dissertation shows the extent of the (literal and theoretical) replication and why certain cases have certain results, whereas others have contrasting results. Research variables and their operational measures were identified upon choosing research questions, guiding theories, and research hypotheses. It was then followed by data collection and data analysis. The quality of research design was safeguarded by four criteria: construct validity, internal validity, external validity, and reliability (Yin 2003, 19-20, 36-46). Research variables and their operational measures were selected to represent the abstract concepts being studied (Yin 2003, 34), in hopes of ensuring the construct validity. Hypotheses were designed to reveal causal relationship to improve the internal validity, while multiple case studies research strategy was chosen to increase the external validity, therefore the generalizability of the research finding (Yin 2003, 34-37). It is hoped that such a research design and data collection and analysis procedures can be repeated with the same results, thus demonstrates the reliability of this study (Yin 2003, 34). 2.8 Research Variables To test the extent the case studies of this study matching the two sets of research hypotheses listed in Section 2.6, the following research variables and their operational measures were identified to represent the abstract concepts being studied. 2.8.1 Independent Variables The following set of variables depicted the independent variables of the policy processes under study: 1) Pressures resulting from background conditions (or exogenous factors): measured by shifts in socio-economic conditions and public opinion (as indicated by polls on salience of new interests or values), chance of elections, and policy decisions and impacts from other subsystems; 2) Actors’ interests: gauged by their goals and objectives, as orally expressed or recorded in written documents; 3) Ideas: revealed by reported or recorded causal perceptions, normative commitments, or policy preferences or approaches based on updated information or experience; 4) Power resources: assessed by business structural power, other power resources such as expertise, skills, capitals, and proximity to authority; and 5) Strategic actions: signaled by issue definition strategies, actor-based strategies, institutions and venue strategies. 29 2.8.2 Dependent Variables The next three variables hinted at the policy outcomes and the extent of policy change: 1) Policy-oriented learning: shown by changing of perceptions or behavioral intentions that result from experience and/or new information (Sabatier 1988, 133; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 123); 2) Policy change: deviation of policy goals, objectives, and instruments from the previous ones – being marginal or an installation of a set of new conceptualization (usually described as “paradigmatic” policy change, see Baumgartner & Jones 1993; Hall 1990, 59); and 3) The development of a government program/policy with a strong research component (Sabatier 1988, 152-3). 2.9 Data Collection Data were collected from multiple sources such as published documents, archival records, and interviews. In addition to using multiple sources of evidence, this study established a database which assembled the collected evidence that converged on the same set of facts or findings (see Appendices G, H, I for parts of the database). A chain of evidence, which linked the research questions, the data collected, and the conclusions drawn, was then produced. 2.9.1 Documentation as a Source of Evidence Relevant documents such as letters, memoranda, meeting minutes, proposals, progress reports, formal studies or evaluation, and electronic files of newspaper were collected as one of the multiple sources of evidence. Since these documents might not have always been accurate and unbiased, they needed to be used in conjunction with other sources of information to reconstruct events that have taken place. Using specific search term [forest practices code] the following electronic databases were searched for records of relevant events, the events’ rationales, and the effects of those events for the period of 1993 to 2001: 1) ProQuest (at http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=...); 2) LexisNexis Academic: Document (at http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/frame.do?tokenKey=rsh-...); 3) Academic Search Premier; 4) BC Ministry of Forests Library (at http://www.library.for.gov.bc.ca); and 5) Hansard (at http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard) 30 Resulting from the ‘ProQuest’ database, major newspapers in the mid- to late- 1990s like The Vancouver Sun (1994; 1997-9), CanWest News (1996-7), British Columbia Report (1996; 1998), Financial Post (1998), Times-Colonist (1998-9), National Post (2000), Daily Commercial News and Construction Record (2000), and Alaska Highway News (2000) were found to cover records related to the case studies of this research. The Globe and Mail (Canada 1993-1999), The Washington Times (1996), The Toronto Star (1996), Timber Trades Journal (1997), and Maclean’s (1998) also contained relevant news articles, as derived from the ‘LexisNexis Academic: Document’ database. Similarly, retrieved from the ‘Academic Search Premier’ database, Canadian Business (1997, 70(10): 90-103), and Maclean’s (1997, 110 (42): 88-103 & 110(5): 86- 103), too included applicable documents. In addition, the BC Ministry of Forests’ Library (http://www.library.for.gov.bc.ca) and Hansard (http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard) provided governmental and legislative data for evidence collection. Opinion polls, policy papers of industry organizations and other stakeholders, research reports on the costs of the Forest Practices Code, and other documents pointed out by research interviewees or informants all constituted parts of the research database. Furthermore, during the process of interviews (see below), documents referred to by interviewees too formed important elements of documentary elements. 2.9.2 Interviews as a Source of Information To avoid basing on single source of evidence, this study also conducted interviews to explore how business managers, community leaders, environmentalists, and government officials responded to the costs of the Code and how the studied forest practices policies - Part 10.1 and the Fort St. John Pilot Project - came about in BC in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. A list of contacts of potential interviewees was prepared, which included four major groups of actors: 1) Current and formal government officials who were involved in the Part 10.1 and the Fort St. John Pilot Project policy processes; 2) Advisors and representatives of the Fort St. John Pilot Project participating companies; 3) Members of the Fort St. John Pilot Project Public Advisory Group; and 4) Members of the Fort St. John Pilot Project Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee. 31 An interview protocol was reviewed and approved by the Behavioral Research Ethics Board of the University (Appendix D). The protocol specified the interview questions, the introductory letter, the form of consent, and the handling of confidentiality (see Appendices A-C for interview documents). The interviews were carried out from September 2006 to November 2006 in relevant locations across the province. Each recording or note of interview was then transcribed or summarized and sent to the interviewee to verify accuracy. Table 2.2 shows the number of the interviewees by organizations and regions. Table 2.2 Distribution of Interviewees’ Organizations and Regions Interviewee ID Organization Count by organization Region Count by region under each (type of) organization 9 Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. 1 Boyle, Alberta 1-1 18 Association of BC Forest Professionals 1 Vancouver, BC 1-1 1 BC Oil and Gas Commission 2 Fort St. John, BC 2-2 58 BC Oil and Gas Commission, South/Central West Fort St. John, BC 40 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) 9 Vancouver, BC 9-2 50 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Certification & Market Support, Corporate Forestry & Environment Vancouver, BC 14 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Chetwynd Division, Chetwynd, BC 9-2 67 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Chetwynd Division, Chetwynd, BC 70 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Fort St. John Division Fort St. John, BC 9-4 29 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Fort St. John Division Fort St. John, BC 11 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Fort St. John Division Fort St. John, BC 35 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Peace Valley OSB Fort St. John, BC 31 Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), Grande Prairie Division Alberta, Grande Prairie 9-1 10 Canadian Forest Services 1 Victoria, BC 1-1 34 Council of Forest Industries (COFI) 3 Vancouver, BC 3-1 15 Council of Forest Industries (COFI), Northern Operations Prince George, BC 3-1 32 Interviewee ID Organization Count by organization Region Count by region under each (type of) organization 4 Council of Forest Industries (COFI), Southern Operations Kelowna, BC 3-1 61 ENAR ESDE (NRSD) INC., Natural Resources Sustainable Development 1 Victoria, BC 1-1 5 Environmental Assessment Office 1 Victoria, BC 1-1 46 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - Fort St. John Literacy Society 8-1 Fort St. John, BC 8-7 64 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - Fort St. John Trapper's Association 8-2 Fort St John, BC 17 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - Fort St. John Trapper's Association Fort St John, BC 22 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - Independent consultant 8-2 Fort St. John, BC 59 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - Independent consultant Fort St John, BC 42 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - Peace River Regional District 8-1 Fort St John, BC 47 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - UNBC’s operations in the Peace River – Liard region 8-1 Fort St. John, BC 69 Fort St. John Pilot Project, Public Advisory Group (PAG) - the Chetwynd Environmental Society 8-1 Chetwynd, BC 8-1 32 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, J.S. Thrower & Associates Ltd. 8-1 Kamloops, BC 8-1 13 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, Ministry of Forests and Range, Northern Interior Region 8-1 Prince George, BC 8-1 38 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Resources Management 8-3 Vancouver, BC 8-3 62 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Resources Management Vancouver, BC 33 Interviewee ID Organization Count by organization Region Count by region under each (type of) organization 36 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Resources Management Vancouver, BC 65 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, University of Alberta (Silviculture, Forest Ecology) 8-2 Edmonton, Alberta 8-2 52 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, University of Alberta (Silviculture/Stand Dynamics) Edmonton, Alberta 6 Fort St. John Pilot Project, STAC, University of Northern British Columbia (Ecosystem Science and Management) 8-1 Prince George, BC 8-1 24 Independent consultant 3 Fort St John, BC 3-1 39 Independent consultant Prince George, BC 3-1 63 Independent consultant Victoria, BC 3-1 19 J.S. Thrower & Associates Ltd. 1 North Vancouver, BC 1-1 44 Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (LP), Dawson Creek Division 3 Dawson Creek, BC 3-3 16 Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (LP), Dawson Creek Division Dawson Creek, BC 7 Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (LP), Dawson Creek Division Dawson Creek, BC 43 Ministry of Agriculture and Lands 1 Victoria, BC 1-1 33 Ministry of Environment, Peace Region 1 Fort St. John, BC 1-1 23 Ministry of Forests and Range, Northern Interior Forest Region (Forest Health Silviculture) 24 Prince George, BC 24-5 30 Ministry of Forests and Range Prince George, BC 8 Ministry of Forests and Range, Northern Interior Forest Region Prince George, BC 68 Ministry of Forests and Range, Northern Interior Forest Region Prince George, BC 3 Ministry of Forests and Range, Northern Interior Forest Region (Forest Health Silviculture) Prince George, BC 49 Ministry of Forests and Range, BCTS, TPL - Peace-Liard Charlie Lake, BC 24-2 34 Interviewee ID Organization Count by organization Region Count by region under each (type of) organization 66 Ministry of Forests and Range, BCTS, TPL –Peace-Liard Charlie Lake, BC 51 Ministry of Forests and Range, Evaluation Program (Integrated Resources) Victoria, BC 24-10 27 Ministry of Forests and Range, Evaluation Program (Integrated Resources) Victoria, BC 53 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Practices Branch Victoria, BC 48 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Practices Branch (Harvest and Silviculture Practices) Victoria, BC 60 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Practices Branch (Harvesting & Silviculture Practices) Victoria, BC 2 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Practices Branch (Harvesting and Silviculture Practices) Victoria, BC 37 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Practices Branch (Harvesting And Silviculture Practices) Victoria, BC 21 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Sector Initiatives Victoria, BC 56 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Sector Initiatives Section Victoria, BC 54 Ministry of Forests and Range, Policy Development & Legislation Victoria, BC 25 Ministry of Forests and Range, Forest Practices Board Burnaby, BC 24-1 57 Ministry of Forests and Range, Fort St John District Dawson Creek, BC 24-4 20 Ministry of Forests and Range, Fort St. John District Dawson Creek, BC 28 Ministry of Forests and Range, Fort St. John District Dawson Creek, BC 71 Ministry of Forests and Range, Fort St. John District Dawson Creek, BC 45 Ministry of Forests and Range, Headwaters Forest District McBride, BC 24-1 55 Ministry of Forests and Range, Kalum Forest District Terrace, BC 24-1 35 Interviewee ID Organization Count by organization Region Count by region under each (type of) organization 41 The Treaty 8 Tribal Association 1 Fort St. John, BC 1-1 26 The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Resources Management 1 Vancouver, BC 1-1 12 Timberline Forest Inventory Consultants Ltd. 1 Prince George, BC 1-1 In total, sixty six interviews (seventy one interviewees) were conducted (interviewed). The organizations that the interviewees belong to include forest companies, BC Timber Sale, the Association of BC Forest Professionals, the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the Canadian Forest Services, the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), eight organizations participating in the Public Advisory Group (PAG) of the Fort St. John Pilot Project, and five institutes representative in the Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the Fort St. John Pilot Project. In addition, there are also interviewees affiliated with independent/private consulting firms, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, the BC Ministry of Environment, the BC Ministry of Forests and Range, the Treaty Eight Tribal Association, and universities in BC and Alberta. The interviews were conducted across various regions in BC and Alberta, as shown in Table 2.2. The interview questions were designed to gather information for measuring the research variables listed in Section 2.8. During the interviews, questions about interviewees’ professional goals and roles gauged the interests and values/beliefs of policy actors. Each interviewee’s strength in influencing policy helped assess the interviewee’s power resources. Their use of tactics and resources in directing views or opinions provided information about actors’ strategic actions. The causal beliefs were uncovered through their views on the strengths and shortcomings of the former Code and on the rationale of the new regulatory frameworks under studied. Their reflections on shifts in interests, preferences, or beliefs prior to the new policies suggested the driving forces of a policy change. In addition, interviewees’ reference to academic work or policy experience provided an indication of ideas available for policy advocacy and policy-oriented learning. Their identification of the influential organizations and/or individuals brought to light the key players in the policy processes, while their willingness to continue interacting with other policy players hinted at the formulation of coalitions. Lastly, interviewees’ opinions about the major forces, effects, and achievements of the new policy framework conveyed their sense of change or realization of beliefs and/or interests. 36 2.10 Data Analysis Both evidence sources - documentation and interview transcripts – were coded with fundamental reasons, concepts, opinions, concerns, and effects of the case study policies for retrieving, as exemplified by Appendixes G and H. Appendix I presents the overall coding based on data collected in this study. These appendices helped trace back to the original evidence and provide materials for reconstructing a story of the event. Data were compared among the interview transcripts and across the interview transcripts and the collected documents. Separate events were combined to formulate a description of a piece of history. Following data collection and data analysis, this study provided an account for the policy case studies’ development and determined the extent of policy change. It then identified how the two chosen policy forces (i.e., collective understandings and power) individually or interactively explained the policy change case studies. Wherever practicable, the analysis also explored how other factors (e.g., market conditions, public opinion, and institutions) constrained or facilitated a policy change. Contextual analysis was conducted to search for evidence indicating the relevance of the research hypotheses. Causal relationship among decision factors and decision outcomes was explored, whereby certain conditions were shown to lead to other conditions, based on data and the possible explanations. The pattern-matching technique (Yin 2003, Chapter 5) was used for relating the data to the hypotheses. Thus, the extent of matching between the real-life cases and the theory could be revealed. In short, the adoptions of Part 10.1 of the Forest Practice Code of British Columbia Act and the Fort St. John Pilot Project were assessed in contemporary context as case studies in this study. 37 Chapter Three BC Forest Policy in the 1990s British Columbia’s forest policies in the 1990s and the early 2000s have undergone considerable changes. Included in the changes were the transformation of the province’s forest practices regulatory framework that increased the protection of environmental values through prescriptive rules on planning and operations. This chapter provides an overview of forest policy in BC in the 1990s and the early 2000s. It first focuses on the policy efforts in the Premier Mike Harcourt era, especially the enactment of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code). It then directs its attention to the policy making in the Premier Glen Clark era and the policy developments during that period. This chapter also gives a background to the revisions in the Code legislation, Part 10.1, which empowered pilot projects to test results-based forest practices regulatory frameworks. The chapter ends with a summary section. An overview of the Part 10.1 policy and the Part 10.1 pilot projects will be provided in next chapter. Before turning to an overview of recent policy developments, a brief political history of British Columbia is useful. For the period since World War II up to 1990, BC was dominated by pro-business conservative parties, mostly under the banner of the Social Credit Party. The social democratic New Democratic Party only held power for several years in the early 1970s. The long period of Social Credit dominance ended in 1991, when the New Democratic Party (NDP) won a majority and was able to remain in power for an entire decade. In 2001, after a stunning drop in political popularity, the NDP were swept out of office by the more conservative, pro-business BC Liberal Party under Premier Gordon Campbell. The BC Liberal Party is not aligned for the more centrist Liberal Party of Canada (BC Legislative Library 2002, 83). A list of the political history of BC from the 1980s to present is shown in Table 3.1. 38 Table 3.1 Political History of BC from the 1980s to Present Premier (party) Period William Richards Bennett (Social Credit) December 22, 1975 - August 6, 1986 William N.T.M. Vander Zalm (Social Credit) August 6, 1986 - April 2, 1991 Rita Margaret Johnston (Social Credit) April 2, 1991 - November 5, 1991 Michael Franklin Harcourt (New Democratic) November 5, 1991 - February 22, 1996 Glen David Clark (New Democratic) February 22, 1996 - August 25, 1999 Dan Miller (New Democratic) August 25, 1999 - February 24, 2000 Ujjal Dosanjh (New Democratic) February 24, 2000 - June 5, 2001 Gordon Campbell (Liberal) June 5, 2001 - present Source: (1) Province of British Columbia, Premiers of British Columbia, 1871 - today. Available at http://www.gov.bc.ca/bcfacts/premiers.html, retrieved on March 24, 2009 (2) BC Legislative Library (2002), Electoral History of British Columbia, Supplement, 1987-2001, 83 3.1 Forest Policy in the Harcourt Era The overwhelming local and international concerns over the management of BC’s forest resources in the late ‘80s and the early ‘90s resulted in a British Columbia Forest Resources Commission (FRC) report “The Future of Our Forests” in April 1991. The FRC report recommended launching a comprehensive, multi- tiered land use planning process that involved the public. The report also suggested establishing a single, all-encompassing code of forest practices that would govern all aspects of forest operations in BC. Following the FRC recommendations, the Harcourt government (November 1991 to February 1996) focused its forest policy on a number of aspects: land and resource use planning; protecting public interests; preserving natural land, biodiversity, and wildlife heritage; and establishing higher environmental and practice standards. As a result, a new timber supply review process was implemented; a ‘Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP)’ was produced for each sub-region in BC, and the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code) 1996 was legislated. 3.1.1 The Timber Supply Review and Land Use Planning In Canada, the determination of an allowable annual cut (AAC) is a key component of forest management. The government regulates the timber supply of public forests through periodical determinations of AACs. The method for determining an AAC is complex and varies significantly across Canada. In BC, the process of determining an AAC was put in place during the late 1940s and until the late 1980s an important part of 39 any AAC determination was a yield analysis,1 which for decades AAC determination in BC relied upon (Forest Resource Commission 1991, 81-2). As a result of an inquiry of a Royal Commission in the 70’s, the BC Ministry of Forests Act and Forest Act (1979) were enacted, and the BC Forest Service became the BC Ministry of Forests, charged with managing the forests for integrated use. The statutory framework conferred to the Chief Forester of BC Ministry of Forests the authority to make the AAC determinations. In addition, the Public Sustained Yield Units (PSYUs) were converted into Timber Supply Areas (TSAs), and new categories of licences and agreements replaced the old ones (Forest Resources Commission 1991, Appendix 3, 13). In the 1980s, concerns over the government’s timber supply strategy escalated, including the relevance and quality of timber supply analysis, the ‘falldown’ effect, and the loss of biodiversity (BC Ministry of Forests 1991, also known as Pedersen/Errico Report). In 1992, the Forest Act was revised to require the Chief Forester of BC Ministry of Forests to consider a range of biological, economical, and social factors in the determinations of any AAC, and a new Timber Supply Review (TSR) process that emphasized public participation was established. As a result, the AAC determinations in BC evolved from a simple calculation to a statute-governed decision that considered multiple values and interests. Public input was sought for the identification of objectives and management alternatives, and an AAC would not be determined until public review had been carried out (Rayner 2001). In addition, the concepts of protective area, conservation biology, and forest ecosystem management became influential in the early 1990s (ABCFP 2005, 1-6). The Harcourt government elected in 1991 initiated a series of policy programs, adding new constraints to forest operations in BC. For example, the new Timber Supply Review (TSR, 1992) process aimed at ensuring sustainable timber supply for the long term. The establishment of the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE, 1992-1996) and the Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) processes provided public objectives and strategies for land and resource management in BC. As well, the Protected Areas Strategy (PAS, 1993) sought to expand parks and protect representative portion (12%) of the provincial land base (Wilson 1998; 2001). 1 The yield analysis looked at the size of the accessible and operable forest land and calculated the timber volume that could be grown on the forest land based on a particular management regime. The volume was based on the length of time it takes for a stand to reach and maintain its maximum annual growth rate. 40 3.1.2 The Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code) In 1995, the Harcourt government introduced the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code) to increase the protection of environmental values through prescriptive rules on forest planning and operations. The Code provided a legal basis for forest practices requirements, which affected many harvest operations in BC. The intent of the Code was, as reflected in the Preamble to the Code, to ensure the “sustainable use of the forests British Columbians hold in trust for future generations.” Principal values behind sustainable use included the needs of present and future generations; a land ethic of forest stewardship; a perspective- balanced priority; and ecosystem conservation. 2 The Code required that all strategic and operational plans produced under the Code be consistent with the management objectives specified in the higher level plans (e.g., the LRMPs). It also called for public review and comment on objectives specified in strategic plans and management approaches stated in key operational plans. Every Forest Development Plan prepared under the Code required joint approval by the regional director of BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and the regional manager of BC Ministry of Forests (Westland Resource Group 1995). Nonetheless, in response to concern over the constraints imposed by the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code), the government decided to limit the impact of the Code on the provincial allowable annual cut, on average, to no greater than six percent on short-term harvest levels.3 Following the Code Act, some twenty regulations and thirty guidebooks were put in place (Westland Resource Group 1995). Among those, the Biodiversity Guidebook provided improved protection of old growth forests and forest ecosystems and recommended logging to focus on landscape level planning.4 In addition, the Wildlife Strategy was set out by the BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks in April 19945 to establish habitat areas for the identified wildlife. As well, an independent Forest Practices Board was established to audit and investigate public complaints on forest practices (Westland Resource Group 1995) 2 Preamble to the Forest Practices Code of BC Act 3 Evolution of the Forest Practices Code, last modified 24 March 1997, at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/archives/legislation/FRCINFRO.HTM, accessed on January 13, 2007; Hoberg (2001b, 92) provides a detailed account of the 6% cap on allowable annul cut. 4 The implementation of the Biodiversity Guidebook, however, was limited to having no more than a 4 percent impact on the province’s short-term timber supply. The implementation was also limited by agency staff discretion. See Cooperman 1998. 5 The Wildlife Strategy was formally named Managing British Columbia’s Wildlife Heritage – Provincial Wildlife Strategy to 2001. The vision of the Wildlife Program was to maintain British Columbia’s wildlife heritage. The goals of the Wildlife Program included: 1) maintaining the diversity and abundance of native species and their habitats throughout British Columbia, 2) providing a variety of opportunities for the use and enjoyment of wildlife, and 3) people and wildlife living in harmony. See BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks 1996, Preface. 41 A Forest Practices Code Steering Committee, which consisted of assistant deputy ministers from the BC Ministry of Forests, the BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, was established during the fiscal year of ‘95/’96 to oversee the implementation of the Code. Despite these efforts to install high standards of forest practices and minimize the regulatory impact on timber supply, the Code framework was said to be among the toughest compared to forest regulations of selected other jurisdictions (Westland Resource Group 1995).6 3.1.3 Forest Renewal BC (FRBC) and Adaptive Management In addition to instituting the Code framework and the Wildlife Strategy, the Harcourt government launched the Forest Renewal BC and the Adaptive Management Initiative to support and advance BC’s forest sector and ensure public interests. In 1994, the government established the Forest Renewal BC (FRBC) and invested the additional stumpage in forest land and communities to renew forestry and forest resource communities. The FRBC continued to operate until April 2002 when it was replaced by the Forest Innovation Investment Account (FIIA), whose main goals included forest management, research, product development and international marketing.7 To combat uncertainty and incomplete information concerning forest resources and the biophysical environment, the Harcourt government delivered an initiative during 1995-6 which trained foresters, biologists and technicians on the concepts and methods of adaptive management (Taylor, Kremsater, and Ellis 1997, Summary, iii). Since then, the concept and aspects of adaptive management have been proposed or applied in many forestry experiments, largely on the effects of alternative harvesting patterns or silviculture treatments.8 6 The jurisdictions compared in the review study included Ontario, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Nova Scotia, five regions of the United States, and three regions of Australia. 7 BC Ministry of Forests 2001-02 annual report; for FIIA programs, see FIIA website http://www.for.gov.bc.ca 8 Major writings on adaptive management include Holling 1978; Walters 1986; Walters and Holling 1990; Lee 1993; and Taylor, Kremsater, and Ellis 1997. Examples of case studies and a proposal on designing an adaptive management program for BC forests can be found in Taylor, Kremsater, and Ellis (1997, Appendixes 1, 2). More recent examples of application of adaptive management include Taylor (2000a; 2000b) and Scott-May and Field (2004). 42 3.1.4 The 1995 FSSC Task Force Report In 1993, the Harcourt government formed the Forest Sector Strategy Committee (FSSC) to develop a shared vision between forest preservation advocates and forest stakeholders. A Task Force that involved government, industry, forest workers, and academia was appointed to make recommendations to the FSSC. In September 1995, based on benchmarking visits to operations recognized for excellence in forest management, the Task Force submitted a report titled Forest Management Strategy and Action-Plan for British Columbia. The report suggested addressing the “falldown” effect, public expectations for managing non-timber values, and the timber supply impact of new forest policies (e.g., the PAS, TSR, and the Code). Moreover, the FSSC Task Force report identified key features of superior forest management: a powerful forest information system, a local forest manager possessing clear responsibility for forest management and the results on the ground, timely reforestation, certainty on land and resource use, and area-based rather than volume-based tenures (BC Forest Sector Strategy Committee Task Force 1995, Executive Summary). With these findings, the FSSC Task Force concluded that forest management in BC should be based on measurable targets for timber and non-timber resource values, assign local responsibility and accountability, and test intensive management in pilot areas (BC Forest Sector Strategy Committee Task Force 1995, Executive Summary). The FSSC Task Force report was later cited by the proponents of the Fort St. John Pilot Project, a results-based Code pilot project conducted in Northeast BC under the new Part 10.1 policy in their proposal in 1999 (see details in Chapter 6) to support the rationale of their proposal.9 3.2 Forest Policy in the Clark Era Inheriting Harcourt government’s policy framework, the Clark government (February 1996 to August 1999) endeavored to continue the policy legacy and proceed with new initiatives in response to new challenges. Under the quota-based Softwood Lumber Agreement, dated April 1, 1996, BC forest companies were restricted in the U.S. market place.10 Also, the designation of new parks between 1996 and 1997 further reduced the land base for timber harvest, adding another constraint to forest operations in BC. By the end of 1996, the first round of the new timber supply review (TSR1) was completed for all forest management units in the province, resulting in AAC reductions in 32 units, increases in 19 units, and status quo within 20 units. In many cases the increase in AACs was the result of changes in technology, 9 Personal communication with a representative of the Fort St. John Pilot Project participants, also see Canadian Forest Products Ltd (1999, 4). 10 The agreement provided fee-free access to the United States for 14.7 billion board feet of lumber from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Fees above 14.7 billion board feet are staggered (graduated export charges will be levied above that level), and in period of high lumber prices, the fee-free volumes will be allowed to increase above the basic 14.7 billion board feet. Information source: Canada Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website, http://www.international.gc.ca/eicb/softwood/sla-en.asp, accessed on January 28, 2007. 43 permitting harvesting in previously uneconomic forests, or improved information about forest characteristics (BC Ministry of Forests 1997b). The reductions, on the other hand, were likely related to five factors: the decline of conventional coniferous harvest, the high harvesting cost in difficult terrains, the designation of protected areas, the new forest management guidelines, and timber harvesting moving into second-growth forests (BC Ministry of Forests 1997b). In short, quality coniferous volume was declining in some areas, which provided an indication of “falldown,” while pressure was put on both the forest companies and the government to search for new equilibrium for business, social, and ecological interests. Faced with challenges resulting from the policy legacies and new market pressure, the Clark government was pressured to focus on mitigating the undesirable conditions for forest operations. From introducing the idea of professional accountability, the programs of the Job and Timber Accord, and a series of pilot programs designed to foster innovation in forest practice and forest policy, the Clark government attempted to address the problem of timber supply, delivered wood costs, and employment of forest workers. The following sections give an account of forest policy in the Clark era. 3.2.1 Forest Industry’s Economic Losses and the KPMG Study Subsequent to the enactment of the Code, and due to a global market structural change (e.g., the Asian economic crisis) after the early 1990s, the BC forest industry faced significant economic losses in 1996, 1997 and 1998. At a December 1996 meeting of the Forest Sector Strategy Committee (FSSC), the forest industry representatives presented a report on the state of the industry entitled Industry on the Brink. The report raised concerns about profitability in the wake of cost pressures resulting from the Code and stumpage increases. Responding to the concerns, the BC Ministry of Forests employed KPMG to study the size of delivered wood costs increases and their causes. The resulting study was published in April 1997 and it suggested that, on average, the cost increase attributable to non-Code related cost drivers (e.g., price and rate increases, land use issues, non-code-related regulations, and tenure administration) was $8.4/m3. The cost increase attributable to Code-related cost drivers (e.g., planning and administration, forest practices) was $12.22/m3, a figure much higher than what the government had originally estimated.11 The forest industry trade group, the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), used the KPMG report to further emphasize that the Code caused a dramatic increase (i.e., 75% in the period of 1992 - 1996) in delivered wood costs and pushed for a policy change (COFI 1997; BC Hansard 1997, June, 16(5): 13777). Although 11 For the Northern Interior, the cost increase attributable to non-Code related cost drivers was $6.32/m3 (44.8%), and $7.78/m3 (55%) attributable to code-related cost drivers. See KPMG & Parrin, Thorau & Associated Ltd 1997. 44 various reports show different figures and trends,12 cost was obviously one of the paramount concerns that the BC forest industry had over the enactment of the Code. 3.2.2 The Concept of Professional Reliance and Professional Accountability Since the implementation of the Code, there had been widespread delay in approval for the Code’s forest operational plans because those plans had to be prepared, signed and sealed by industry professional foresters and reviewed and approved by government professional foresters. In February 1996, the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP), the BC Ministry of Forests, and the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) together established a Joint Professional Accountability Task Force to tackle the problem. The Task Force analyzed the forest operational plans’ review and approval processes and examined the role of professional foresters in the processes. It then suggested placing a greater emphasis and reliance on the obligations and accountability of professional foresters. In its opinion, such an emphasis could reduce the process delay. The Joint Professional Accountability Task Force considered the Silviculture Prescription 13 a typical operational plan where increased reliance on professionalism and professional accountability could play a significant role in reducing the delay (BC Professional Accountability Task Force 1996, Summary). It was therefore recommended that there could be a greater recognition of, and reliance on, the professional accountability and professionalism of foresters in the preparing and review processes of the Silviculture Prescriptions. Practices standards for professional foresters and discretion criteria for district managers during the review and approval process of Silviculture Prescriptions were proposed. Streamlining the review and approval processes was also suggested. In 1998, the government accepted the recommendations and undertook the training program (BC Hansard 1999, 22 June, 16(9):13898), designed to promote a new 12 The Pricewaterhouse data had shown that the costs were trending down - a reduction in the average cost of logging on Crown lands from $88/m3 in '97 down to $79/m3, as recorded in BC Hansard 1997, 16(5): 13777. 13 Since 1987 the Forest Act was changed to ensure that basic silviculture would be achieved. Beginning in 1988, forest companies in BC were required to submit a Pre-Harvest Silviculture Prescription (PHSP) for every cutting permit to define how they were going to establish plantation and maintain free-growing; companies were also liable to the associated planning and reforestation costs. Therefore, after 1987, whenever companies logged an area, they had a corresponding liability in their financial statement, and each Silviculture Prescription had to be prepared, signed, and sealed by the companies’ professional foresters, and reviewed by the government’s professional foresters and signed off by the government (BC Ministry of Forests Annual Report, and personal communication with a silviculturalist formerly involved in the Fort St. John Pilot Project). Silviculture Prescription usually exemplified the high transaction cost and do-loop nature of the Code. An informant from the BC Ministry of Forests commented (personal communication): “A lot of work was done in preparation stage, but just the time it took at the approval stage was a problem for the licensee too. A licensee [lost] its control of its wanting to get out there and doing the stuff, which probably means actually cutting tree down, but it stuck waiting for the plan to be approved.” Reforestation in the unlicensed portions of TSAs however remained the responsibility of the BC Ministry of Forests. See BC Forest Resources Commission 1991, page 13 of Appendix 3. 45 culture within which high quality Silviculture Prescriptions would be submitted and approved in a reasonable time period (BC Professional Accountability Task Force 1996, Summary). 3.2.3 The Jobs and Timber Accord, Operational Planning Review, and Streamlining the Code On March 21, 1996, the BC Premier Glen Clark introduced the concept of a Jobs and Timber Accord to complete the long-term labour market renewal plan for BC’s forest sector that began under the Forest Renewal BC (FRBC). The Accord’s main goal was to create 21,000 forest sector direct jobs by December 31, 2001. The Jobs and Timber Accord was a negotiated agreement between the NDP government and the forest industry to enhance economic stability within the forest sector.14 The employment opportunity was to come from the forest industry’s job commitments and its devotion to the value-added manufacturing sector, whereas the government assured increased short term and long term timber supply (BC Ministry of Forests, 1997c, p.7). The FRBC provided support to the Jobs and Timber Accord with funds and programs for logging companies, Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP, later became BCTS), and the remanufacturing sector (BC Ministry of Forests 1997c, 5-7). Hoberg (2001c) presents an account of this Jobs and Timber Accord policy initiative, in terms of it policy formulation, decision making, and implementation, During the Job and Timber Accord process, the government received a long issue-list made by the forest industry for policy change. The government formed an Operational Planning Review Panel to examine areas for improved forest operational planning, cutting red tapes, and minimizing costs.15 The number of operational plans, the extent of professional reliance, and the approvals of cutblocks were among the reviewed items. In 1996, following the review panel’s recommendations, the government introduced a series of legislative amendments to the Code to encourage innovative forest practices, facilitate small scale salvage, improve small business administration, and advance enforcement measures (BC Ministry of Forests, BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and BC Ministry of Energy and Mines 1998, 1-1 ~ 1.2). In 1997, further revision of the Code was brought in through Forest Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 47) to reduce administrative processes and provide a $5/m3 ~ $7/m3 cost relief for the forest industry (BC 14 An ad hoc administrative body, consisted of 5 Deputy Ministers and 17 corporate Chief Executive Officers and chaired by the Premier’s Deputy Minister, dealt with some twenty issues in detail for the Accord. Fiber flow, the number of operation plans required, a cultural shift toward professional reliance, interaction with higher level plans, approvals of cut blocks, average block size, adjacency and green-up were among the issue-list. For complete list of the 20 issues, see BC Ministry of Forests, BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines 1998, 1-3 ~ 1-4. 15 The review panel consisted of 18 employees from four ministers. Aspects of operational planning subject to review included road work, timber harvesting, silviculture, mining, and petroleum related activities. See BC Forest Service 1996. 46 Forest Service, 1996). As such, some forest operation plans required under the Code were eliminated and consolidated, while the administrative rules were simplified.16 The Code’s streamlining continued in the ‘98/’99 fiscal year with the same objective of making the regulations simpler and more cost-effective for the forest industry (BC Ministry of Forests 2001c; Forest Statute Amendment Act 1998 - Bill 34). The 1997 amendments to the Code and the Forest Act also specified that only the objectives and strategies specified in the land and resources management plan (LRMP) would provide directions for forest practices. In August 1997, a policy statement stipulated that old growth management areas (OGMAs) could be established in the non-contributing land base. As well, the Chief Forester also instructed District Managers of the BC Ministry of Forests “not [to] consider representativeness at a scale finer than the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification variant level when establishing landscape unit objectives.” Moreover, some provisions of the Code, such as those for landscape-level biodiversity, remained unenforceable; their impact on timber supply was thus minimal. The Job and Timber Accord improved the timber inventory and made a percentage of sawn timber available to remanufacturing segments at market prices. The Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (later became BCTS) also set aside part of its allowable annual cut to the remanufacturing portion of the program (BC Ministry of Forests 1997c, 7). In addition, in 1998, legislation was modified to allow various piloting programs to facilitate sustainable employment. 17 Based on this legislative modification, the provincial government also entered into the Innovative Forest Practices Agreements (IFPAs) and other enhanced forest practices agreements with forest companies to test innovative forestry practices (see below). In return, the participating forest companies had the opportunity to increase the allowable annual cut (AAC) for enhancing and maintaining employment in the forest sector (BC Ministry of Forests 1997c, 3). In sum, forest companies in BC were encouraged to join the Jobs and Timber Accord (BC Ministry of Forests 1997c, 10), and the Accord produced benefits for the displaced forest workers. But, it did not appear to overcome the lack of business confidence in investing in BC forest sector (BC Hansard 1999, 24 June, 16(12): 13975; Hoberg 2001c). 16 Those redesigned planning and approval requirements included key components of the silviculture prescriptions, cutting permits, logging permits, road permits, engineering estimates, special-use permits, road-use permits, and licences to cut, see BC Ministry of Forests Annual Report 98/99, p.5 and personal communication with an interviewee formerly a staff member of the BC Ministry of Forests. 17 Examples of such programs include: community forest tenures, exemption of licensees from the 5% take-back of allowable annual cut if under-harvested timber volumes were associated with job creation, reinstating the 5% take- back of allowable annual cut on licence transfers if more forest sector jobs were created, and permitting forest tenure holders to own or lease timber processing facilities. These provisions were instituted under the Forest Statute Amendment Act 1998 (Bill 34) 47 3.2.4 Enhanced Forest Management Pilot Projects (EFMPPs) and Innovative Forest Practices Agreements (IFPAs) In support of the Jobs and Timber Accord and following the recommendation of the BC FSSC Task Force (1995), the Clark government formed a steering committee that boasted academia (e.g. Dr. Gordon Baskerville and others), industry (e.g. Weyerhaeuser; Canfor), and the three resource ministries to buttress the Enhanced Forest Management Pilot Projects (EFMPPs).18 The EFMPPs, through the FRBC funding, intended to address the “falldown” in timber supply and long-term certainty in timber harvest level with enhanced forest management. From September 1995 to March 2003, four EFMPPs were conducted in about 200,000 hectares of the provincial forest area.19 Each project was a cooperative effort between the forest industry, the government, forest workers, and the academic community. These projects were bolstered by support from each respective technical advisory committee (TAC) and the committee’s short- and long- term enhanced forest management strategies. The existing forest operational plans were modified to accommodate the EFMPPs’ activities.20 The EFMPP program ended in March 2003 when the BC Ministry of Forests was going through a significant reorganization. In November 1999, the Pricewatercoopers produced a review report on the performances of the first three EFMPPs and concluded that many of the forestry strategies and techniques could be transferred to other areas of the province to address the effect of the “falldown” in timber supply (BC Ministry of Forests, 1999d). The report also emphasized the essential role of the technical advisory committee and the importance of performance targets for achieving the goals of each EFMPP.21 In 2004, the Forest Research Extension Partnership (FORREX--Firth Hollin Resource Science Corp) reviewed the fourth project and found the project positive and educational but having limited industry participation and little short-term effectiveness that forest companies could benefit from (FORREX-Firth Hollin Resource Science Corp 2004). 18 Personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member 19 These EFMPPs include: the Invermere EFMPP (led by the Invermere Forest District), the Weyerhaeuser TFL 39 (led by formerly McMillan Bloedel then Weyerhaeuser), the Babine EFMPP (led by Forest Licensees in Burns Lake), and the Robson Valley EFMPP (led by the former Robson Valley Forest District). 20 BC Ministry of Forests EFMPP website, http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hcp/enhanced, accessed on October 29, 2006; personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member 21 Future pilots for testing other strategic issues such as tenure reform, variable retention, and First Nations interest were suggested (BC Ministry of Forests 1999d). Evidence for direct link to forest policy was found in EFMPP program. For example, information collected by the Invermere EFMPP, such as reduced time to achieve 3-m green-up and reduced average regeneration delay, was used to improve the timber supply estimates in determining the allowable annual cut in the second provincial Timber Supply Review (TSR2) for Invermere Forest District. See Innes 2003. 48 Originating in the 1994 Forest Renewal Plan, the Innovative Forestry Practices Agreements (IFPAs) were agreements between forest companies and the Minister of Forests, aiming at testing innovative forestry practices and enhancing long-term commitment for specific operating areas. Enabled in 1996 through Section 59.1 of the Forest Act the government could increase the harvest level allocated to the IFPA participating forest companies (Breakthrough Forest Solutions Inc., 2006). Like the EFMPPs, the IFPAs became an avenue to help enhance and maintain employment in the forest sector. But, different from the ministry-based EFMPPs, the IFPA program was an industry-led endeavor, where the BC Ministry of Forests only put out guidelines and checked on industry performance via an extensive list of performance indicators (Innes 2003, 353). The eligibility of IFPAs’ activities was determined by the BC Ministry of Forests, and the financial support also came from the FRBC. The first several IFPAs were in smaller scale, carried out by individual forest tenure holders;22 it soon progressed to a state where IFPAs were done cooperatively at a Timber Supply Area (TSA) level.23 Some IFPAs continued to operate even when the Jobs and Timber Accord had ended.24 It is noted that Canfor, which was, and still is, the primary participating forest company of the Fort St. John Pilot Project, a case study of this dissertation, was the major partner in some of these projects.25 In brief, the IFPA process appeared to have stimulated considerable interest, resulting in investment in forest inventory and growth data, and improved forest management and working relationships between forest companies in timber supply areas.26 22 An IFPA in a small area could mean that a small portion of tenure holders within a timber supply area got a better allowable annual cut (AAC) and had funding coming to them from the FRBC. They were able to increase their AAC but maybe detriment to other licensees around them, since others weren’t getting as good a venue (personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member). Others also questioned a system that enabled government revenues to be used to pay for activities that resulted in industry party receiving benefit (i.e., incremental annual allowable cut) (Higgins 1999). 23 In the view of a government informant, this was a better and easier way to work with, because when the increased AAC came in, the participating tenure holders could split it up among themselves, everybody worked side by side, sometime with First Nations’ participation (Personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member) 24 Individual, a smaller scale type of IFPA included the Interfor’s Adams Lake IFPA (announced in 1997), the Lignum IFPA (announced in 1997), and the Interfor’s Hope IFPA (also announced in 1997). District (Timber Supply Area scale) level IFPAs included the Arrow IFPA (announced in 1998), the Merritt IFPA (announced in 1998), the Vanderhoof IFPA (announced in 1999), the Morice & Lakes IFPA (announced in 1999), and the Okanagan IFPA (announced in 2001). The Vanderhoof IFPA was offered to all forest licensees in the district. They include Canfor, Fraser Lake Sawmills Ltd., etc., according to BC Ministry of Forests, “IFPA will maintain jobs, increase forest productivity – Vanderhoof Forest District,” News Release, 8 March, 1999. Also see Breakthrough Forest Solutions Inc. (2006, 8) and BC Ministry of Forests (1998a). 25 The Babine EFMPP was later converted into an IFPA and joined the Morice & Lakes IFPA; and one of the major partners in the Morice Lake IFPA and Vanderhoof IFPA was Canfor (personal communication with an industry consultant involved in some of these pilot projects). 26 In some cases, better relations with First Nations were also established. See Breakthrough Forest Solutions Inc. 2006, 4-5. 49 One major problem with the IFPAs was the lack of incentives for participants to look at other aspects of forestry but an increase in allowable annual cut. Despite the overall positive reviews, these EFMPPs and IFPAs seemed not solving the problems (e.g., increased costs, the lack of flexibility for area-specific variations) faced by the forest industry (Innes 2003, 350). Consequently, calls for changes to the Code continued, but one may reasonably presume that the industry’s experience with EFMPP and IFPA could bring advantage in future progression for these selected groups.27 3.2.5 Stumpage Rate Adjustments The government lowered the stumpage rate to further mitigate the business difficulties that BC forest industry encountered.28 The stumpage rate effective June 1, 1998 reduced the stumpage charge by an average of $8.10/m3 on the Coast, and $3.50/m3 in the Interior. The stumpage formula was also revised to include chip prices in addition to lumber prices29 to reflect price fluctuations of both chip and lumber.30 In between October 1997 and May 1998, the stumpage reductions dropped average stumpage rates by $9.67/m3 (or 28%) on the Coast and $9.19/m3 (or 30%) in the Interior (BC Ministry of Forests, 1998b). These reductions were in addition to cost reductions announced previously through streamlining the Code, as Forests Minister David Zirnhelt stated: “Reducing stumpage rates and cutting red tape mean we’ve now cut costs faced by the forest industry by some $14/m3.”31 Nevertheless, the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) continued to allege that major influences on the industry’s overall results were the lower chip revenues and the higher logging costs.32 In response, the government reduced the stumpage rate again on October 1, 1998,33 and later yet again in early 1999.34 And, 27 Personal communication with an industry consultant who was involved in the EFMPPs and the IFPAs 28 BC forest industry suffered losses beginning in 1996. The industry lost $192 million for 1997, following the loss of $290 million in 1996. See COFI 1998b. 29 Historically, overall stumpage rates were determined based on lumber prices only. See BC Ministry of Forests 1998b. 30 See BC Ministry of Forests 2001c, 14. Information concerning stumpage adjustment can also be found in BC Ministry of Forests 1998c; BC Ministry of Forests 1998b; and COFI 1998a. 31 Ibid 32 According to COFI, the average cost of logging on Crown lands continued to increase, rising from $50/m3 to $88/m3 in 1997, see details figures in the COFI 1998b 33 This time the stumpage rate was reduced with an average of $2.19/m3 for the Coast and $1.21/m3 for the Interior, which led to a total reduction of $13.29/m3 (or 38.4%) on the Coast and $11.02/m3 (or 36%) in the Interior since 1997. See BC Ministry of Forests 1998d 34 Effective January 1, 1999, the average Coastal stumpage rate for sawlogs became $25.16/m3, the stumpage rate for Interior sawlogs became $26.48/m3. Stumpage for pulp logs remained at $0.25/m3. This quarterly adjustment was market-driven, because the US lumber market price strengthened, and lower Canadian dollar also improved the price for BC lumber. See BC Ministry of Forests 1998f. 50 from January 1998 to January 1999, average stumpage rate was down 30% in the coastal area and 24% in the interior area (BC Ministry of Forests, 1998f). Overall, in 1998 alone, the government policy change accounted for a $200 million reduction in stumpage and another $250 million reduction due to regular adjustments (BC Ministry of Forests 1998f). 3.2.6 Forest Action Plan Despite all the relief programs that the BC government offered, the forest industry’s concerns over the increased costs induced by the province’s forest policies, the Code in particular, did not fade away. The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) met with Premier Glen Clark in October 1998 and stressed the difficulty caused by the province’s forest policy (COFI 1998c): “While the Asian financial predicament [was] real, more fundamental domestic issues [were] the causes of the [industry’s deepening crisis]. While the BC industry [was] reeling, competitors in the rest of Canada and in the US [were] faring quite well.” Shortly after, COFI submitted a “30-day list” of recommended government actions that, according to COFI, when implemented would meet the immediate needs of forest companies and address the deepening crisis in forest resource communities. Many items on the list were related to the cost of regulation and administration (COFI 1998c). The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), representing more than 120 forestry resource communities in BC, shared COFI’s perspective on the critical need for immediate reduction in logging cost (COFI, 1998c). In late 1998, following COFI’s submission of the “30-day list,” the Clark government formed an Economic Council of Ministers to provide strategic directions for a Forest Action Plan. The ensuing Plan included short- and long- term actions to help stabilize forest resource communities and to diversify and modernize the industry (BC Ministry of Forests Annual Report, 98/99, p.3; BC Ministry of Forests 1998e; BC Ministry of Forests 1999a; BC Ministry of Forests 2001c, 8, 21). It sought to bring government policies closer to market realities,35 simplify the administrative requirements,36 adjust the billing procedures,37 and implement efficiency measures.38 Meanwhile, the government continued to work on its strategic objectives: 35 For example, flexible utilization standards, removing burnt timber out of the waterbed, easier appraisal of right-of- way timber, and including timber sale licences in stumpage calculations. 36 For example, providing standardized planning template/prototype, new woodlot licence regulations that moved toward a more results-based regulatory framework, and streamlining the permits. 37 The bill system was adjusted to recognize the seasonal natural logging in BC through monthly payment plan, deferred stumpage payment, a field scales, easier appraisal and billing procedures for timber removed from right- of-way. 38 For example, the reduced cruising in low value stands, and the allowable thresholds for waste and residue. 51 increasing the fibre flow to ensure an adequate timber supply, participating and supporting the Jobs and Timer Accord, EFMPPs, and IFPAs to sustain employment, and streamlining the Code to reduce cost burden. 3.2.7 Cost Driver Initiative Entering the fiscal year of 1999/2000, the BC Ministry of Forests initiated a province-wide Cost Driver Initiative (CDI), hoping to further reduce delivered wood costs while maintaining the Code’s environmental standards (BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Annual Report 2001- Fiscal years 1999/2000 and 2000/2001). The CDI was another partnership agreement between the BC Ministry of Forests, other resource agencies and the forest industry. In addition to its main goals, the CDI attempted to create a working environment in which objectives of timber harvesting, forest management, and environmental protection were balanced and managed cost-effectively.39 3.2.8 Landscape Level Wildlife Protection In February 1999, the BC government released an Identified Wildlife Management Strategy, which was jointly announced by Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks Cathy McGregor and Minister of Forests David Zirnhelt (BC Forest Practices Board 1999; BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and BC Ministry of Forests 1999). Under the Strategy, species most at risk from forest activities were identified, and a process was created for establishing habitat areas for the identified wildlife (BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks 1996, Preface; BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and BC Ministry of Forests 1999). Also, in March 25, 1999, urged by the Forest Practices Board (BC Forest Practices Board 1999), the government released the Landscape Unit Planning Guide and Wildlife Tree Policy as a coarse filter mechanism for conserving wildlife tree dependent species’ habitat.40 Forests Minister David Zirnhelt considered the establishment of stand- and landscape- level land use goals a step toward a performance-based approach (BC Hansard 1999, 22 June, 16(9): 13896). But, concerned with the continuing economic downturns of the forest industry, Zirnhelt reiterated the timber supply impact caps established earlier and limited the impact of these constraints on timber supply to be no more than 4.1 percent (BC Hansard 1999, 22 June, 16(9): 13901), and suggested for a need to restructure the forest industry to make its operation more cost effective (BC Ministry of Forests 1999b). 39 BC Ministry of Forests (2001c) Strategic Results; also see BC Hansard (1999, 17 June, 16(5): 13777) for Forest Minister’s talk about the process and focus of the Cost Driver Initiative. 40 The Landscape Unit Planning Guide and Wildlife Tree Policy provided directions and advice on the amount of old-growth and the number of wildlife trees to conserve within the province's various forested ecological zones. 52 3.2.9 Forest Policy Review Around 1998-1999, to identify the underlying issues, shared values, and potential long term solutions for managing BC’s public forests, Forests Minister David Zirnhelt introduced a forest policy review program entitled The Working Forest – Directions for the Future.41 The program addressed issues of land, forest industry and public stewardship, and the challenge confronting the government in making sure that the public derived the maximum economic, environmental and social benefits from the BC forests. Upon completing regional input from community workshops, the program chair Garry Wouters offered a list of recommendations for each set of the key issues (i.e., the land, the forest industry, and the public stewardship) (Wouters 2000, Executive Summary). Consequently, Wouters’ policy advice included piloting new ways to implement the Code to ensure that high environmental standards would be maintained and costs of forest operations would be reduced. It also urged better utilizing the resource by ensuring the right log going to the right mill. These suggestions once again illustrated the then policy agenda: seeking to reduce costs and increase efficiency, while maintaining environmental standards. 3.2.10 Premier’s Cariboo Economic Summit One of the main suggestions coming out of the policy discussions surrounding the Code framework was the idea of testing a results-based regulatory approach.42 In May 1999, Premier Glen Clark announced in the Cariboo Economic Summit that pilot projects could be tested for improved regulatory framework for forest practices (BC Ministry of Forests 1999c). The concept of testing different regulatory frameworks was advocated by the forest industry at the summit; community interests were also lining up behind the industry. Forest companies voiced concerns for their economic interests, while communities were worried about their downward tax base and shrunken employment prospect; together they asked the government to think about finding a more cost effective way to achieve sustainable use of BC forests.43 The government was under ongoing pressure to change forest practices policy. Some even directly alluded to the government: “you had a prescriptive Code, we can get you to the same end points; we can get very good outcomes on the land, and we can give you good forestry outcomes without the heavy hand of 41 BC Ministry of Forests, The Working Forest – Directions for the Future, available at http://web.archive.org/web/20010723073603/www.for.gov.bc.ca/pab/pc/review/heritage.htm, access 31 January, 2007 42 Personal communications with interviewees - see Appendix I under the general coding categories of ‘Rationale of Part 10.1’ and ‘Why results-based?’ 43 Personal communications with former senior officials of the BC Ministry of Forests 53 government.”44 A then senior official of the BC Ministry of Forests suggested that, rather than throwing away the whole Code, the government could do an experiment to gain a better understanding.45 The senior official recommended that some forest companies be exempted from part of the Code’s requirements and “let people put their money where their mouth is” through testing results-based approaches. Whether or not public interest could be met in ways different than the Code statute would be examined through results- based (or performance-based) pilot projects.46 Following the summit, a team of some 30 people47 representing diverse interests gathered in a workshop in June 1999 to consider what a results-based regime would look like. They debated how the new regime would appear and devised the crucial components for a results-based regime, and produced a draft Part 10.1 that would allow the establishment of the results-based code pilot projects.48 3.2.11 The Legislation of Part 10.1 In June 1999, Part 10.1 was added to the Code through the Forests Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 82) to deliver the Premier’s commitment at the Cariboo Economic Summit. The legislation allowed pilot projects to experiment improved forest practices regulatory framework (BC Hansard 1999). The three essential conditions for Part 10.1 pilot projects included 1) public review and comment, 2) equivalency to the level of resource and environmental protection under the Code, and 3) monitoring and evaluation (BC Hansard 1999, 14277). The government stressed its commitment to maintaining environmental standards (BC Ministry of Forests 1999c). The opposition party was in favor of moving toward a results-based approach, and supported Part 10.1 for greater flexibility and accountability (BC Hansard 1999, 14277). The forest industry also backed such a new policy that would afford latitude in forest operations but still meet economic, social and environmental objectives (BC Ministry of Forests 1999c). Some environmental groups found the new direction a positive move that would explore ways to meet standards of the Code in a more accommodating environment, while also anticipating a wider participation of other forest users (e.g., the wilderness tourism community) in the new policy program (BC Ministry of Forests 1999c). 44 Personal communication with the former senior official of the BC Ministry of Forests 45 Ibid. 46 Ibid. 47 The meeting participants were led by then senior government officials (personal communication with an informant involved in that workshop meeting), who knew that the biggest issue would be the environmental considerations. It then began the negotiation between BC Environmental Network (BCEN) and the government. As a result, BCEN listed a number of things as conditions to the pilot projects. One of the conditions was that the pilot regulation needs to have landscape level planning and address riparian protection (personal communication with an industry representative participating in the Fort St John Pilot Project). 48 Personal communication with an informant involved in the workshop meeting 54 For prudence, Part 10.1 specified that the total allowable annual cut (AAC) coming under the Part 10.1 pilot project(s) in a region may not exceed 10 per cent of the region’s allowable annual cut (BC Hansard 1999, 4386), and the operations of the pilot project(s) would need to provide “at least the equivalent protection for forest resources and resource features” as that provided by the Code. The pilot project(s) would also have to be consistent with the Code’s goal of balancing forest values and economic, social and cultural needs of British Columbians (BC Ministry of Forests, 2001d). Moreover, the Forest Practices Board would retain its authority to audit forest practices of each pilot project. Subsequent to the Part 10.1 legislation, pilot project proposals were submitted, reviewed, and, for some of them, approved; a few of them were carried forward even when the results-based Forests and Range Practice Act (FRPA) replaced the rule-based Forest Practices Code in 2004. The next chapter will provide an overview of the Part 10.1 legislation and its pilot projects. 3.3 Summary In the 1990s, forest policy in BC evolved from the Harcourt government’s concentration on the prescriptive plans and standards to the Clark government’s focus on mitigating strategies that would alleviate the undesirable economic impacts of the increased regulations. Generally, BC forest companies felt the cost burden of the Code since the mid 1990s. Some specific policy initiatives, together with the unfavorable market effects (e.g., poor pulp prices, the softwood lumber agreement, the Asian economic crisis), were more or less linked to the BC forest industry’s economic difficulties. In particular, the Protected Areas Strategy (PAS, 1993), which added constraints on timber supply through designation of protected areas, the Forest Renewal BC (FRBC 1994), which led to increases in stumpage, and most notably the Code (1995), which instituted extensive and prescriptive rules on planning and operations, were all thought to contribute to the sector’s economic problems in the era of Premier Glen Clark. Major policy issues the Clark government encountered included the limitations to timber supply, the lack of incentive and flexibility for investment and innovation, the increased delivered wood costs, and the displacement of forest workers in the forest resource communities. Specifically, forest companies accused the Code of inflating the delivered wood costs. Their concerns were further coupled with community instability, appeals to politicians, and market constraints. In an effort to address the social and economic difficulties, Premier Glen Clark chose to adhere to the Code’s principal framework, but he also, entered into the Jobs and Timber Accord with the forest industry, tested ways of enhanced forest management, provided stumpage benefits, and streamlined the Code. Meanwhile, the Clark government adopted the concepts of landscape units and professional reliance and 55 professional accountability as a conceptual basis for the results-based forest practices regulatory framework. Subsequently, Part 10.1 was added to the Code as a solution to address the disadvantageous effects of the Code. A results-based regulatory system was emerging and awaiting experimentation. Under the experimental framework, detailed planning and rigid operational requirements would be replaced by a series of strategies and performance targets that entrusted industry professionals with forest planning and field operations. Entering the 2000s, the NDP government (led by Dan Miller and Ujjal Dosanjh) continued to introduce changes to forest policies. The BC Liberal Party won the election and took over power in mid-2001. The new government introduced the Forestry Revitalization Act and the new Forest and Range Practices Act (the FRPA), which further extended the scale of the results-based regulatory system to the whole province. The policy efforts presented in this chapter exemplified BC government’s persistent efforts at promoting the growth of the BC forestry industry while striving to maintain high environmental standards. The governments were likely motivated by some combination of two driving factors. One may see the decade long history of BC forest policy as a learning process that has been based on a fair amount of collective understanding regarding better ways to manage forests. Alternatively, the dynamics of political power among policy actors might have also led to the policy path as depicted here. It appears both factors carry weight, as argued by the scholarly work reviewed in previous chapter. This study will focus on the policy decisions of the legislation of Part 10.1 and one of the Part 10.1 pilot projects, the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP), because both policy decisions exemplify a policy change in BC forest sector in the late 1990s. These policy decisions also likely helped forge the full scale results- based regulatory system - the Forests and Range Practices Act (the FRPA) - in the early 2000s. An overview of the Part 10.1 legislation, including its policy process, policy content and policy change, as well as the pilot projects proposed under Part 10.1 will be provided in the next chapter. Similarly, an overview for the Fort St. John Pilot Project and its regional forest policy background will be detailed in Chapters Five and Six. Chapters Seven and Eight will discuss how the two driving forces – learning and power struggle - explain policy change and which theoretical framework better matches the policy decisions. 56 Chapter Four The Results-Based Code Pilot Project Policy This chapter provides an account of the legislation authorizing pilot projects under the Forest Practices Code, including its policy process, policy content, and policy change, along with the pilot projects proposed under it. This account serves as a narrative for one of the two case studies in this project. The chapter concludes with an outline of policy effects of the Part 10.1 legislation. A comment versus response table that recaps the areas of concern is also affixed for detailed background. 4.1 Policy Process Despite the fact that stumpage increases were shown to be a more important driver behind the cost increases, the added $12/m3 of Code-related costs was regarded as significant in an industry with small profit margins (Hoberg 2001b, 79). Therefore, even with the BC government’s efforts in the late 90’s to mitigate the adverse social-economic effect, allegations about the Code’s economic impact continued. The forest industry extended its search for a greater recognition of, and reliance on, professional accountability of foresters (BC Professional Accountability Task Force 1996). The industry groups also argued that more desirable forestry outcomes could be achieved through an alternative regulatory approach. In addition, there were calls from within the government which echoed the industry’s plea for a change (personal communications with the BC Ministry of Forests staff members). Sources that likely prompted such internal state discussions included the recommendations of the 1996 Operational Planning Review Panel, the Garry Wouters’ advice resulting from the 1998-9 Forest Policy Review, and concern over the coniferous bias caused by the silviculture policy legacies.1 Other than the existing policy programs, new ideas, recommendations, and comments were channeled to the policy-making system that dominated the issue identification in the late 1990s for policy change. In July 1999, the BC government approved a further change to the Code, conceding that sustainable forest management might be achieved with an alternative regulatory approach, and that the existing rule- and planning- based Code was not necessarily the best option. The 1999 Bill 82 added Part 10.1 (Sections 221.1 1 In BC, coniferous species have been traditionally the preferred tree species for industrial harvesting. The province’s silviculture policy and the reforestation standards pertinent to it were developed to ensure the regeneration of the coniferous species in the public forest lands. The plantation mentality that requires forest companies to grow coniferous sometimes prohibits the regeneration of other forest types. It could potentially alter the character of the natural forests, causing loss in ecological, cultural, and economic values. (Personal communications with university professors and staff members of the BC Ministry of Forests) 57 to 221.3 of the Code) to the already streamlined Code to allow pilot projects to test a different forest practices regulatory framework. With the passing of Part 10.1, the BC Lieutenant Governor in Council was able to order, by regulation, that specific provisions pertaining to the Code and the Code’s regulations would not apply to the participants of the Part 10.1 pilot projects. The participants could include a district manager or the government, in relation to the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (later the BC Timber Sales), or the holders of an agreement under the Forest Act or the Range Act. As opposed to the prescriptive Code, the Part 10.1 legislation offered the BC forest sector an avenue to experiment with an alternative forest practices regulatory framework. 4.1.1 Agenda Setting The official genesis of the Part 10.1 policy was the Premier’s Cariboo Economic Summit. In May 1999, the BC Premier Glen Clark announced at the Cariboo Economic Summit that pilot projects would be tested to improve forest practices regulatory framework (BC Ministry of Forests 1999c). At the summit forest industry pushed hard for a more flexible model which would allow efficiency and innovation. Forest companies contended that, under the Code, they had to start their planning process years before they could cut a tree down.2 At the same time, the government hoped for a more effective approach, because the Code was resource-intensive3 and caused unintended outcomes (e.g., significant delay in plan approval).4 Forest professionals also criticized the Code for limiting their ability to practice.5 A former senior official of the BC Ministry of Forests, who was present at the Cariboo Economic Summit, has emphasized the importance of experience-based policy change and explained the rationale of recommending Part 10.1 as a policy solution at the summit: “If we are going to change regulations, to change statute, it would be preferable for policy maker to gain some experience so that as we move forward and make change we do it on 2 It could be because of the long delay in the plan review and approval process under the Code regime. In addition, during those years market factors changed dramatically, forest tenure holders thought they were going to need a lot of particular species (e.g., hemlock) and they planned for that. But, by the time they could start cutting trees down, the market wanted other species (e.g., Douglas fir). For that reason, both the government and the industry needed to find a way which was quick and easier to work through. (Personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member) 3 District staffers complained that they spent too much time in the office processing paperwork and not enough time out in the field monitoring what’s happened. (Personal communication) 4 Personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member; see Appendix I under the category of ‘Replace SP with SLP.’ 5 See BC Professional Accountability Task Force (1996, Summary) and Appendix I of this dissertation under the category of ‘Why results-based?’; also personal communication with a representative of the professional association 58 the base of experience rather than a popular argument. We want to make sure that we do that in a way that meets the test of good public administration, has checks and balances, with the same or higher levels of environmental standards.”6 The former senior government official (personal communication) also recalled the tense political circumstances at the time: “The solution that emerged was a formulation of Part 10.1 added into the Code. The concept of testing different regulatory framework was advocated by forest industry at the Cariboo Economic Summit. Community interests were lining up behind the industry. Together they were concerned about whether government had added too much cost burden through its enactment of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act. [Forest industry and community interests] argued that it was affecting the viability of the industry and the social and economic conditions of the communities. Faced with the process- oriented, planning-based Forest Practices Code, industries voiced concerns for their economic interests; communities voiced concerns about their downward tax base and shrunken employment prospect. They asked the government to think about finding a more cost effective way of getting to its end goals.” It was from that very discussion at the economic summit that the government came up with the idea of exempting the participating forest companies from parts of the Code through Part 10.1. The policy model was that if the government and industry partners could enter into a regulatory arrangement, the government could allow the participants to be free of various provisions that came with the Code and other specified legislation. This exemption could only be done for the purpose of testing different and equal to or better ways of regulating forest practices. The policy was designed as an experiment to gain understanding about the potential of a results-based framework to avoid running a risk of not meeting the public interests, as the former senior government official has recollected: “We enabled within [Part 10.1] the ability to do some positive aggressive experimentation, and this was in order to test whether or not public interest could be met in ways that were different than the current statute and gave people who were saying this is wrong the opportunity to prove what was better and prove that they would still take fair care of the environment that they would still illustrate good forest practices and would still keep a good balance,…..I did want to make sure that we did that in a way that I would say met the test of good public administration. We still had checks & balances, and people were still forced 6 Personal communication with a former senior government official of BC Ministry of Forests 59 to be responsible to the public for managing the public resources.” (Personal communication with the former senior official of the BC Ministry of Forests) 4.1.2 Policy Formulation The process of formulating Part 10.1 then began in a workshop that followed the Premier’s Cariboo Economic Summit. A team of some 30 individuals, representing diverse interests, deliberated over what a results-based system would look like. The resultant draft Part 10.1 outlined the conditions for agreeing to any Part 10.1 pilot projects, making sure that the environmental standards provided under the Code would not be lowered.7 As senior officials of the BC Ministry of Forests foresaw environmental concerns over the Part 10.1 policy proposal,8 the government began to consult with environmental groups. Representatives of environmental groups articulated their view on the draft Part 10.1, and requested to put landscape level planning and riparian protection as prerequisites for each Part 10.1 pilot project.9 Accordingly, environmental groups played a crucial role in assuring the public of the adequacy of Part 10.1.10 As noted in the previous chapter, prior to the Part 10.1 legislation, the forest industry and forest professionals had been campaigning for professional reliance and professional accountability and the results-based regulatory alternative. By the time Part 10.1 was being developed, these concepts had become recognized in the policy community. As might be expected, they were incorporated into the draft Part 10.1. Subsequently, the government decided that the environmental and resource stewardship could be attained without having to employ a prescriptive system like the Code.11 The government introduced Part 10.1 legislation (Bill 82) to the BC Legislature Assembly in June 1999, and in July 1999, Part 10.1 was enacted and viewed as a significant breakthrough. It was a move from a rigid regulatory framework to one that embraced flexibility and professional reliance and professional accountability, with a focus on the end results. Upon enabling the legislation, the BC Premier Glen Clark explained (BC Ministry of Forests 1999c): “Participants at the premier's economic summit in the Cariboo wanted a way to test different methods of applying the Code, with less administration but with the same or 7 Personal communication with informants who were involved in the workshop 8 Personal communication with a former senior government official of the BC Ministry of Forests 9 Personal communication with an industrial representative who was participating in the Fort St. John Pilot Project 10 Personal communication with a former senior government official of the BC Ministry of Forests 11 Personal communication with a BC Ministry of Forests staff member, also see above the former senior Ministry of Forests official’s recollection on the rationale of proposing Part 10.1 60 higher levels of environmental standards……We are delivering on one of the key recommendations of the summit - enabling legislation for pilot projects across BC, starting in the Cariboo.” 4.1.3 Decision Making The draft legislation emphasized the enactment of the Cabinet’s power to exempt the participating parties from specific provisions of the Code, the Forest Act, or the Range Act, and any regulations under these acts for the purpose of experimenting improved forest practices regulatory framework. Specifically, the experimentation could include a regulatory prototype that brought about desired results rather than prescribed trivial rules. The two indispensable conditions for every Part 10.1 pilot project, as the Forests Minister described to the Legislative Assembly, would be the public review and comment and the equal level of protection as that of the Code (BC Hansard 1999, 14277). The government asserted that, with the passing of Part 10.1, the Cabinet would approve a pilot project and its regulation under Part 10.1 if it could meet the following criteria:12 1) The proposed project had been subject to public review and comment. 2) A summary of the comments and actions that were taken respecting those comments had been submitted to the ministers. 3) The proposed project would provide at least the equivalent protection for forest resources and resource features as that provided by the Code. 4) The proposed project would be consistent with the preamble to the Code (as shown below). 5) The pilot project regulation would – a. adequately provide for public review and comment regarding forests practices to be carried out under the proposed pilot project; b. adequately provide for monitoring and evaluation of the proposed project; c. maintain the role of the Forest Practices Board as set out in the Code, and d. provide public access to planning documents and assessments used in the project and records which were required to be prepared for the project 6) All pilot projects in a forest region would not comprise more than 10% of the total allowable annual cut (AAC) in effect in that forest region. 7) A pilot project could only be established in an area that was subject to a higher level plan or a pilot project regulation for balancing competing values and interests. 8) A local public advisory committee would be established to review comments made by the public and actions taken or proposed by the project proponents, and to report to the ministers as to the public acceptability of the proposed project. 12 A copy of Part 10.1 (Section 221.1 - pilot projects of the Code) is attached in Appendix E 61 9) Participants of the project would report annually to the ministers on the pilot project, and the ministers would make the reports publicly available. The Preamble to the Code stressed British Columbians’ desire for sustainable use of the forests which they hold in trust for future generations. It includes the following criteria:13 (a) managing forests to meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations, (a) providing stewardship of forests based on respect for the land, (a) balancing economic, productive, spiritual, ecological and recreational values of forests to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of peoples and communities, including First Nations, (a) conserving biological diversity, soil, water, fish, wildlife, scenic diversity and other forest resources, and (a) restoring damaged ecologies In summary, Part 10.1 was to test alternative and better regulatory frameworks for forest practices.14 The Part 10.1 legislation encouraged early and ongoing public participation and focused on strategic planning. It upheld sustainable use of forest and environmental protection, offered flexibility, and shifted attention to field results.15 Forest planning and operations under each Part 10.1 pilot project were required to be consistent with the higher level plans or complying with regulations that balanced competing values and interests. In addition, they needed to balance their private and public interests and provide adequate level of public involvement and performance evaluation. Most crucial was the equivalent or higher level of forest management.16 Furthermore, under each Part 10.1 pilot project a local public advisory committee could be established to review comments made by the public, and to report to the government on the public’s satisfaction with the proposed pilot project. 13 Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/tasb/legsregs/archive/fpc/fpcact/contfpc.htm#preamble, accessed 24 November, 2007. 14 Section 221.1 (1), (2) of the Code 15 See BC Ministry of Forests Annual Performance Report 2000/01, BC Ministry of Forests (2001d), and JSC Letter (dated 31 March, 2000, available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/bulkley.htm). Accordingly, any policy issue that was not directly related to regulating forest practices (e.g., liability for forest roads or timber appraisal) was however not the intent of Part 10.1. 16 See BC Ministry of Forests (1999c) for statements of the Premier Glen Clark on the delivery of Part 10.1. 62 4.1.4 Implementation Subsequent to the passing of Part 10.1, to implement the Part 10.1 policy, the Ministry of Forests took charge of the review and approval of the Part 10.1 pilot projects. The inter-ministerial Forest Practices Code Joint Steering Committee (JSC) held meetings with other resource agencies, environmental groups, and the forest industry, to invite proposal of results-based code pilot projects. Part 10.1 became the focal avenue for advocating change and exploring innovative forest resource management; new ideas were encouraged to be tested out within the Part 10.1 framework. In facilitating the implementation of Part 10.1, the Ministry of Forests created the post of project manager. The manager received strategic advice from the JSC and its Joint Management Committee (JMC), oversaw the Part 10.1 pilot projects, and coordinated the communication and consultation concerning the implementation of Part 10.1 at the provincial level. The JSC, which was comprised of senior officials from resource agencies who had the authority to sign off strategic and operational plans under the Code, identified a list of criteria for selecting project proposals.17 The JMC involved specialists from a range of fields to ensure the quality of the Part 10.1 pilot projects; each draft pilot proposal would be reviewed in detail by the JMC. 18 These governmental examination efforts were followed by consultations with stakeholders such as environmental groups, forest industry, Forest Practices Board, and First Nations (BC Ministry of Forests Annual Performance Report 2000/01). Meanwhile, the Ministry of Forests received a number of initial expressions of interest across the province. Five proposals reached the planning stage: Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd. (Stillwater Division), Fort St. John licensees (led by Canfor), Cariboo Lumber Manufacturer’s Association (CLMA), Cariboo Woodlot Association (CWA), and Riverside Forest Products Ltd. These Part 10.1 pilot projects were proposed in an effort to meet the Part 10.1 criteria, reduce the administrative “red tape,” and improve the efficiency of forest planning and operations. While these Part 10.1 pilot proposals all strived to make the Code more efficient without compromising the environmental standards, each differed more or less in various aspects. The variation ranged from the characters of the proponents’ forest tenures, the area and allowable annual cut (AAC) involved, the presence of higher level plan, to the scale of regulatory streamlining and focus of innovation. The projects 17 BC Ministry of Forests, meeting minutes of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) 18 Personal communication with a former project manager at BC Ministry of Forests for the Part 10.1 pilot projects 63 also diverged in their working relationships with local communities, First Nations, environmental groups, and professionals.19 4.2 The Part 10.1 Pilot Projects This section provides an overview of pilot projects proposed under Part 10.1. 4.2.1 The Stillwater Pilot Project The proposal submitted by the Weyerhaeuser’s Stillwater Division (the Tree Farm Licence 39) in the Sunshine Coast Forest District was the first to receive Cabinet approval. It covered 180,000 hectares on Cutblock One of Tree Farm License (TFL) 39 near Powell River with an allowable annual cut (AAC) of 445,000m3 (approximately 2% of the regional AAC). A community advisory group, the Association of BC Professional Foresters (ABCPF), the BC Environmental Network (BCEN), and the Sierra Legal Defense Fund reviewed the proposal prior to Cabinet review and approval. The consequent Stillwater Pilot Project Regulation (BC Reg. 96/01 effective April 1, 2001) identified resource values and goals that resemble national and international criteria for sustainable forest management for the Stillwater area, and provided guidance for its Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP). Measurable targets were also specified for each resource value and tied into components of forest management certifications (i.e., ISO 14001 and CSA SFM).20 The Stillwater Pilot Project Regulation authorized a single Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP), which replaced four operational plans in the pilot areas, and linked the project area’s landscape units with the biodiversity emphasis options denoted by the government. The project’s FSP later became a model for other forest tenure holders when they were preparing their forest stewardship plans under the new Forest and Range Practices Act (the FRPA) (Innes 2003, 355). 4.2.2 The Fort St. John Pilot Project The Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP), one of the case studies in this project, established a partnership among volume-based licensees and the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (now the BCTS). The project covered 4.1 million hectares of Crown land in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area, also tied in the Canadian Standards Association’s Sustainable Forest Management (CSA SFM) certification (Cashore, Auld, and Newsom, 2004), and had its own pilot project regulation. The FSJPP is currently in its eighth 19 A collection of the Forest Practices Code pilot projects can be viewed on the BC Ministry of Forests Range website at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/index.htm. 20 See BC Ministry of Forests and Range’s record on the Stillwater Pilot Project, http:// www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/stillwater.htm. 64 year of implementation since its approval in December 2001. The project will be analyzed in detail in the later chapters. 4.2.3 The Cariboo Licences Pilot Project The Cariboo Licences Pilot Project involved Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., Weldwood of Canada Ltd., West Fraser Mills Ltd., Slocan Forest Products Ltd., Tolko Industries Ltd., Riverside Forest Products Ltd. and Lignum Ltd. Similar to the Stillwater Pilot Project, these participating volume-based forest tenure holders replaced their annual Forest Development Plans with a general strategic five-year Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP). The FSP was based on the objectives and targets contained in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan (CCLUP). The intention was to decrease administrative costs and direct managing effort to end results. The Cariboo FSP contained no site level information or prescriptions specific to blocks or stands. With its FSP, the participating forest companies attained flexibility in terms of road location and harvesting development between years within the FSP timeframe.21 Site level plans continued to be submitted to the Ministry of Forests, but merely for reference purpose. 4.2.4 The Cariboo Woodlot Pilot Project In late 1999, the Cariboo Woodlot Association (CWA), in cooperation with the South Cariboo & Quesnel Woodlot Association, submitted a Part 10.1 pilot project proposal, outlining a Woodlot Plan and a draft pilot regulation. The intent was to more efficiently manage forest resources on a woodlot. It proposed a market pricing stumpage system, an area-based cut control procedure (e.g., limiting the number of hectares that could be harvested annually), and a silviculture cost sharing arrangement.22 As long as their actions were consistent with the strategies and objectives outlined in the Woodlot Plan, the CWA members expected to gain latitude in forest management under this pilot project (Innes 2003, 354). 4.2.5 The Riverside (TFL 49) Pilot Project On March 5, 2002, the draft TFL 49 Pilot Project Regulation was forwarded to the British Columbia Environmental Network (BCEN). The project proponent - the Riverside Forest Products Ltd. (TFL 49) - was an area-based forest tenure holder in Kelowna, managing 145,000 hectare forest area on the west side of Okanagan Lake in the Southern Interior. With a strong commitment to forest land stewardship, the proponent drew up an Ecological Stewardship Plan (ESP) based on the objectives and targets identified in 21 See BC Ministry of Forests (2001d); BC Ministry of Forests and Range’s Cariboo Forest Licensees’ proposal, available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/caribooresultscode.pdf 22 See BC Ministry of Forests (2001d); BC Ministry of Forests and Range’s Cariboo Woodlot Association’s Results Based Code Preliminary Proposal, available at http:// www.for.gov.be.ca/hfp/rbpilot/woodlots_cariboo.htm 65 the Okanagan-Shuswap Land and Resource Management Plan (the OS LRMP). The ESP replaced the tenure holder’s Forest Development Plan which was required by the Code and Forest Act. The ESP also field-tested a dynamic ecosystem-based resource management model, which explored its potential for managing all forest resources - timber or non-timber - in a cost effective way. The ESP of the TFL 49 pilot project reduced the number, size, and complexity of forest operation plans and streamlined the governmental review processes, while striving to maintain and enhance the productivity of the land base.23 The Riverside TFL 49 Pilot Project formed an Advisory Panel with diverse expertise, including the Mayor of the community, and developed new forest management techniques related to silviculture, riparian protection, and fish habitat protection. Concerning silviculture, the proponent developed an alternative reforestation evaluation technique (also called a multi-block level), which assessed reforestation performance at landscape level. The technique allowed silviculturalists the flexibility to achieve desired outcomes at the lowest cost. The new reforestation evaluation technique (or the multi-block approach) highlighted the link between silviculture activities and future yields for Lodgepole pine and interior Spruce, and provided advantages which the conventional assessment method did not afford.24 The draft regulation of the TFL 49 pilot project established provisions for professional foresters to exercise judgment and accountability in developing strategies and prescriptions for harvesting and silviculture.25 In addition, the project participant no longer needed to obtain a cutting permit for each cutblock, as the approval of the ESP would grant such authorities. The project also initiated a mending formula to allow for another review and halting off operation for the affected area should an aboriginal interest or other issues arise. However, Tolko Industries Ltd. acquired Riverside Forest Products Ltd. at a later time and decided to end the project.26 4.2.6 The Bulkley Pilot Project In February 2002, the West Fraser Mills Ltd, Skeena Cellulose Inc., the Moricetown Band Council, and the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (now BCTS) jointly proposed the Bulkley Pilot Project. The proposed project covered the entire 736,000 hectares of the Bulkley Timber Supply Area (TSA), which had an AAC of 895,000m3. The proponents put together a Landscape Unit Plan as a common District Manager Policy, a District Development Plan (DDP), or a Management Plan (MP), so that their Forest Development Plans could be streamlined. The DDP (or MP) was developed based on the Bulkley Land and Resources 23 See BC Ministry of Forests and Range’s Riverside-Kelowna FPC Pilot Project website, at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/riverside_kelowna.htm 24 Ibid., and personal communication with an informant in October 2006 25 BC Ministry of Forests and Range’s Riverside-Kelowna FPC Pilot Project website, at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/riverside_kelowna.htm 26 Personal communication with a former project manager at the Ministry of Forests for Part 10.1 pilot projects 66 Management Plan that was formulated by a Community Resources Board, and became a strategic plan that contained landscape level information and a coordination mechanism. The project proponents also planned to adopt adaptive management and involve a joint-venture with First Nations.27 4.2.7 Other Pilot Proposals Lastly, there were other pilot proposals which did not achieve full development. For example, the Isaak Pilot Project of TFL 57 in Clayoquot Sound looked at a forest management plan that was consistent with the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel recommendations (BC Ministry of Forests, 2001d). West Fraser was developing a pilot proposal aiming at maximizing efficiency through streamlining planning and adaptive management process, while West Chilcotin Forest Products and the District Manager of Chilcotin Forest District thought of adopting landscape level planning as an alternative (Stahl 2000; BC Ministry of Forests 2000d). To sum up, common themes among these Part 10.1 pilot project proposals included: 1) a tendency to specify objectives and strategies which were accompanied by criteria and indicators for measuring performance; 2) an inclination to adopt strategic and landscape level planning; 3) incorporating certification standards, especially the CSA-SFM, into the management framework; and 4) simplifying the administration of site level planning and operations.28 The remainder of this chapter provides the policy content and policy change of the Part 10.1 legislation. 4.3 Policy Content of Part 10.1 A complete assembling of the Part 10.1 policy content would require extensive study on each Part 10.1 pilot project. Due to resource and time constraints, this section provides an outline of the Part 10.1 policy content. Structurally, Part 10.1 had two layers of regulatory authorities: the Bill 82 passed by the BC legislature and a binding regulation issued through Order-In-Council. Functionally, a Part 10.1 pilot project was a trial of results-based forest management. It made use of the Code’s fundamental values, public involvement, the concepts of professional reliance and professional accountability and landscape level planning, and a monitoring and evaluation framework, to develop and test a results-based model. 27 See BC Ministry of Forests (2001d) and BC Ministry of Forests and Range’s Bulkley Forest Practices Code Pilot Project website, at http: www.for.gov.be.ca.hfp/rbpilot/bulkley.htm 28 Personal communication with a former project manager at BC Ministry of Forests for Part 10.1 pilot projects; also see Stahl (2000) and BC Ministry of Forests (2000c) 67 To protect public interests, the policy required each pilot project regulation to cover four components: (1) opportunities and procedures for public review and comment on the forest practices to be carried out under the proposed pilot project, (2) monitoring and evaluation criteria of the proposed pilot project, (3) continuation of the Forest Practices Board’s role as set out in the Code, and (4) public access to planning documents and assessments used in the proposed pilot project (Part 10.1 of the former Code; also see Section 4.1.3 above). It also required the pilot projects to provide public access to information and the same or higher level of environmental protection standards. As mentioned in Section 4.1.2, upon consultation with BCEN, landscape level planning became part of the prerequisites for each Part 10.1 pilot project. Hence, a common item resulting from the Part 10.1 pilot projects was a results-based strategic plan29 (also see Section 4.2.5 above). In general, the results-based strategic plan specified strategies and targets for specific forest resource values (e.g., timber, fish streams, and biodiversity). These strategies and performance targets addressed forest practice issues and outcomes with respect to concerned forest resource values at the broad landscape level. They then guided the planning and operations regarding each of the forest resource values. The strategic plan provided an opportunity to test innovative landscape level planning and forest practices that focused on results and resource values. Another significant feature of the Part 10.1 pilot projects was the repealing of approval requirements for site level plans. The regulatory repealing offered an opportunity to improve administrative efficiency and business flexibility for both industry and government. The following sections exemplify how a Part 10.1 pilot project could address these policy contents and prerequisites. 4.3.1 Public Involvement One of the prerequisites of Part 10.1 pilot projects was engaging the public and stakeholders through early and ongoing involvement in the planning process. Each pilot project was required to involve the public and stakeholders through a local community group (or public advisory committee, public advisor group), who defined the interests on the land and advised alternate ideas or data systems. The local community group formed under Part 10.1 could be a standing body (as opposed to a steering committee or a one-off consultation group), and would participate in the drafting of a Part 10.1 pilot project regulation and the subsequent project implementation and evaluation processes.30 29 Examples of strategic plans developed under the pilot project proposals include: 1) the Forest Stewardship Plan of the Cariboo Forest Licensees pilot project, 2) the Ecological Stewardship Plan of the Riverside TFL 49 Pilot Project, and 3) the Sustainable Forest Management Plan of the Fort St. John Pilot Project 30 The formation of the local community group however could be cumbersome, bringing together multiple interests and a complex network of stakeholders, each carrying dissimilar perspectives and a disparate degree of political 68 Unlike under the Code regime, where the public had access to detailed and cutblock-level forest operation information, Part 10.1 shifted the focus of public oversight to strategic matters. As a result, the information type and specifications available to the pubic were altered accordingly. But, a Part 10.1 pilot project could choose to make available the operational and related assessment information (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2001, 15). To ensure adequate public oversight, several opportunities were provided under Part 10.1 for public involvement. First, the public could participate in the development of forest management objectives via the public/community group process. Second, the public could take part in the review and comment on the project’s strategic plan (described below), its proposed amendments, and in the joint auditing process.31 Third, the district manager of the Ministry of Forests had to be satisfied that public comments had been adequately addressed before issuing cutting permits.32 The avenue for public involvement was shifted from operational- and stand- level to strategic- and landscape- level planning and operation matters. In addition, the nature of involvement transformed from sporadic and individual events to regular and interactive group processes. 4.3.2 A Results-Based and Professional-Reliance Framework Policy actors involved in Part 10.1 were required to focus on end values and pursued management goals and objectives. They were also supposed to espouse the emerging idea of professional reliance and professional accountability. Consequently, the pilot project participants were no longer required to obtain government approval for operational and site level plans (e.g., road plan, silviculture prescription, etc.), even though the participants still prepared those plans. The industry professionals prescribed for operational and site plans in accordance with their professional duties and local conditions, making sure that the implementation of those plans would provide adequate management and conservation for forest resources and resource features. For example, among those Part 10.1 pilot projects, the approval of the Forest Development Plan was replaced by the approval of a Dynamic Ecosystem Based Sustainable Total Resource Management Project and a Forest Stewardship Plan in the case of the Riverside and Stillwater pilot project respectively. In the case of the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP), the participants consolidated their forest operational plans and put together one single Forest Development Plan (FDP) and a Sustainable Forest Management Plan resources. For that reason, the participants of a Part 10.1 pilot project would need to contend with uncertainty as to what kind of counsel would arise. (Personal communication with a senior government official) 31 See pilot project proponents’ responses to BCEN’s comments: Riverside’s responses to Gage’s (2002) comments and Stillwater’s responses (on Nov. 14, 2000) to Brewster & Clogg’s (2000) comments 32 Ibid. 69 (SFMP) for government approval. The FSJPP group also made public a Forest Operations Schedule (FOS) that contained information of cutblocks and roads for public review and comment. 4.3.3 Exemption from Parts of the Code’s Provisions The Code had specific practices requirements concerning fish habitats, wildlife values, and species at risk. It also had detailed rules for soil conservation, road engineering, timber harvesting, and forest regeneration (BC Ministry of Forests 1993b; BC Ministry of Forests 1994). Under the Code framework, the government had hands-on supervision responsibility. Thanks to the concept of professional reliance and professional accountability, the Part 10.1 policy was able to make “dis-applying” parts of the Code understandable and acceptable. Following the Part 10.1 legislation, the government could focus on the outcomes of forest practices and let the industry professionals oversee the work on the ground. Government officials from the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection assessed whether the proposed strategies and measurable targets met the requirements of equivalent protection of forest resources and resource features as that provided under the Code and the Code’s regulations. However, as a general rule, no exemption from the Code’s provisions could take place until a results-based strategic and landscape level plan was made official under the Part 10.1 framework. 4.3.4 Strategic and Landscape Level Planning Under the Part 10.1 legislation, the approval system for forest planning under the pilot project regulations was trimmed. Only the strategic and landscape level stewardship plan and the cutting-permit process required government authorization.33 Nonetheless, in addition to a strategic plan, participants were still required to make their operational information (including maps) available to the public. The maps needed to show both active and approved cutblocks and roads, proposed cutblocks and roads, as well as current and planned road deactivation and stand tending activities. The content requirements of strategic planning were substantially different from those of a Forest Development Plan (FDP). Strategies and specific targets for resource management zones were typically delineated as the major content of a strategic and landscape level plan. This type of plan was prepared to address forest management issues and outcomes at the long term and the landscape level, and to guide the operational plans and performance evaluation of a Part 10.1 pilot project. With mandatory internal and external monitoring and reporting, equivalent protection for forest resources and resource features and proper forest management were expected to be achieved by meeting the approved 33 Following the recommendations of the BCEN, Part 10.1 policy required the approval of a landscape level plan (personal communication with a representative of Pilot Project participants) 70 targets. The objectives stated in the regional LRMP (or any other higher level plan or designation that was brought into force) provided the basis for target specification in the stewardship plan. 4.3.5 Site Level Planning The Part 10.1 pilot project regulations permitted government officials to request site level plans, but not the authority to approve those plans. Accordingly, dis-applying the site level plan approval requirements as shown in Part 10.1 was considered a significant change in administrative rules. Because of this, the consistency between a site level plan and the corresponding strategic or landscape level stewardship plan would need to be safeguarded by the industry professionals, the audits as required by the regulation or conducted by the Forest Practices Board, and the compliance inspections of government agencies.34 4.3.6 Forest Practices The industry professionals were assigned greater responsibility and accountability under the Part 10.1 framework. Without the government administration, operational or site level forest practices would fall back on registered professionals’ discretion and oversight. Professionals together with pilot project participants’ staffers and consultants became answerable for forest practices on the ground. 4. 4 Policy Changes 4.4.1 Policy Goals The Part 10.1 policy puts forth nine criteria (see Section 4.1.3 above) for conducting a Part 10.1 pilot project. Upon meeting these principal criteria, administrative procedures of a Part 10.1 pilot project can be streamlined and made less burdensome. The intention was to let the forest companies and professional foresters have more autonomy in laying down a blueprint for forest planning and operations. Briefly, the regulatory focus shifts from procedure to results, in an effort to facilitate efficiency, conditional on the criteria as articulated in the Part 10.1 provisions. 34 See, for example, Part 5 Division 2 of the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation 278/2001 71 4.4.2 Policy Instruments The Part 10.1 legislation and those pilot project regulations passed under it formed the specific instruments and their settings of the Part 10.1 policy decision. Policy instruments employed in Part 10.1 were mostly related to the authority of the public, the government, and independent third party (e.g. the Forest Practices Board). Public Review and Comment Local community committees (or Public Advisory Groups) were formed to review and comment on Part 10.1 pilot project proposals, the draft pilot project regulations, and the subsequently developed strategic plans. Government Review and Consultations Each draft Part 10.1 pilot project proposal had to undergo the full review of the Joint Management Committee (JMC thereafter). In addition, the Forest Practices Code Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and its JMC (the same as the JMC which reviewed each Part 10.1 pilot projects) oversaw and coordinated the communications and consultations concerning the implementation of Part 10.1 pilot projects at the provincial level. Environmental groups, forest industry, other interest groups, and the Forest Practices Board were also consulted during the implementation process.35 Internal and External Audits and Reporting The pilot project regulations required periodical internal audits and reporting on project progress and performance. In addition, the Forest Practices Board conducted audits to check whether the project fulfilled its goals and met the objectives it specified. As a result, a Forest Practices Board’s (2007) audit report, which showed that the BCTS, being a participant of the Fort St. John Pilot Project, increased its level of management, evinced such commitments (Forest Practices Board 2007, 8).36 35 On the Fort St. John Pilot Project, for dealing with issues of First Nations, see Chapter 6 Sections 6.3.4, 6.4.1, and 22.214.171.124 36 In its compliance audit of forest planning and practices of the British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) program and timber sale licence holders in the Fort St. John Pilot Project Area, the Forest Practices Board collected and utilized third-party audit information to assist the assessment, and concluded that “the operational planning; timber harvesting; silviculture; and road construction, maintenance and deactivation carried out by BCTS and timber sale licence holders in the Fort St. John Code pilot Project area for the period April 1 2005 to September 8 2006, complied in all significant respects with the requirements of Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Fort St. John Pilot Regulation as of September 2006.” See BC Forest Practices Board 2007, 8. 72 Pilot Project Proposal and Regulation The proponents could only proceed with the project if their proposal had received approval from the provincial government. The Cabinet would approve it only if it met the conditions as specified in the Part 10.1 provisions (see Section 4.1.3 above). Similarly, each Part 10.1 pilot project regulation would be made effective only if it could meet the criteria listed in the Part 10.1 provisions. Within such legal boundaries, the project participants could explore alternatives to gain benefit, materially or ideologically. 4.4.3 Instrument Settings The fundamental values emphasized in the Part 10.1 policy were specified as the same as those advocated or protected under the Code (e.g., the preamble to the Code). Protection standards for forest resources and resource features were required to be equivalent to those provided by the Code and the regulations made under the Code. Furthermore, although the forest industry acquired flexibility in its forest planning and operations, specifications for each instrument component, performance standard, and exemption would only be sanctioned once they had been consulted with the public and other stakeholders and approval by the government. 4.5 Concerns of Environmental Groups The exemption from the Code was among the issues commented by environmental groups.37 The removal of submission requirements for operational and site plans, and the ineffectiveness of a FDP once a stewardship plan (or other strategic plan of this sort) was approved, concerned the BC Environmental Network (BCEN). The timing and methods for public consultation, the lack of forest practices information, the changing objectives and targets, and the uncertain outcomes, were also issues pointed out by environmental groups. A comment-response table that summarizes the review comments of the BC Environment Network (BCEN) and responses of the pilot project participants is summarized in Table 4.1. The table is by no means a complete list of comments and responses of all parties involved for all Part 10.1 pilot projects presented, but it provides a snapshot as to areas of concerns and extent of discrepancy. In most cases, the regulatory frameworks under Part 10.1 were also criticized as not providing the protection equivalent to the Code and the Code’s regulations and short of government oversight, with the government’s oversight moving from technical-oriented to value-based.38 Some interviewees commented 37 See Table 4.1 below under the category of ‘Exemption.’ 38 BCEN’s comments on pilot project regulations: Gage (2002), Brewster and Clogg (2000), and Clogg and Brewster (2000); as well as personal communication with informants 73 that the industry was given the freedom to select, define, and modify objectives and goals for Crown land.39 Others expressed unease about the reduced information available to the government and the public,40 and the issue of species distribution in mixedwood forest resulting from the continuing forest type designation and stocking requirements.41 Briefly, the Part 10.1 policy brought doubts of environmental groups to the policy process on aspects of outcome evaluations, equivalent protection, government role, industry control, and information accessibility. In particular, several pilot project proposals also incorporated the adaptive management concept into the results-based framework. This concept allowed for a change to the objectives when a particular forest practice might not meet the original objectives. From the BC Environmental Network’s viewpoint, allowing pilot project participants to make such alterations was not well justified (Gage 2002; Brewster and Clogg 2000). On the other hand, industry groups, their consultants, workers, and government officials, were enthusiastic over Part 10.1. Some considered the ability to present landscape level strategies and the opportunity to address public interests (e.g., through the use of the Forest Operations Schedule, as in the case of the Fort St. John Pilot Project) as the major structural breakthroughs.42 Some believed that Part 10.1 provided an avenue for volume-based forest tenure holders to coordinate at landscape level so that total cost of harvesting and road could be effectively minimized. Many trusted that Part 10.1 allowed flexibility in forest planning and forest practices thus improved forest management efficiency. Others held that the legislation facilitated the development of strategies and indicators at the local level, therefore provided trials for implementing new knowledge and information, as well as an adaptive forest management.43 Part 10.1 as a policy experiment did bring a variety of viewpoints to the policy-making system for future policy improvement. To what extent the Part 10.1 resembled policy learning will be discussed in the later chapters. 39 For example, see Appendix I under the category of ‘Initial position on the FSJPP’ for comments: “[I] would put more responsibility back to the government.’ 40 The Code’s section 221.1(3) (c) required that a pilot project regulation provided an opportunity for public review and comment of the forest practices under the pilot. 41 See Appendix I under the category of ‘Mixedwood’ for opinions such as ‘plantation mentality- free-to-grow’, ‘problem with a free-to-grow standard,’ ‘a bias based on the type of the licence,’ and ‘not going way out the mixedwood end of things.’ 42 Personal communication with informants; when asked to compare the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation with the pervious Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, informants indicated landscape level strategies as the key positive feature of the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation; the Code prior to Part 10.1 did start the landscape level strategy process, but it wasn’t in place across BC and it was coarse and for larger areas, zoned for a variety of resources. The Fort St. John Pilot Project landscape level strategy was new in the context of being applied to resource-specific aspects (e.g., managing multi-blocks for reforestation) 43 Personal communication with a regional government official of the BC Ministry of Forests 74 4.6 Conclusion With the flexibility provided through Part 10.1, novel approaches to forest practices regulation could be tested at a limited scale. Because of its trial nature, policy actors, including the public, the government, forest companies, and environmental groups, communicated considerately and worked cooperatively. They were hopeful that the trial would thrive and the greater role of professional foresters would ensure adequate forest planning and operations. The Fort St. John Pilot Project was one of such tests, while several others eventually came to a halt with the development of the Forests and Range Practices Act (the FRPA). As of March 2007, only the Fort St. John Pilot Project and the Stillwater Pilot Project were still operational. It is likely that the FRPA generally adopted the regulatory framework developed under Part 10.1. Under the FRPA regime, the approved Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP) laid out the objectives and targets that forest tenure holders had to meet. The multi-block reforestation strategy (i.e., the MSQ method and volume target) which was developed under the TFL 49 (Riverside) Pilot Project and later adopted by the Fort St. John Pilot Project has also become increasingly recognized by forest tenure holders who now operate under the FRPA regime. A complete comparison of Part 10.1 and the FRPA would require further study. Table 4.1 Comments and Responses on Part 10.1 Pilot Project Regulatory Framework Comments from BCEN44 Pilot Proponents’ Responses45 Regulation - • Did not properly define the vision and goals, other than stated that it would be “consistent” with the preamble to the Code • Need to identify specific results and include them in the regulation • Enabled the pilot project participants to adopt their own voluntary standards and results • The Cabinet would decide whether it met the tests in Part 10.1. • The stewardship plan had to meet a stringent test for government approval. • Results achievement would be substantiated by the approved indicators and measurables. • Once the stewardship plan was approved, there was nothing “voluntary” about pilot participants’ obligations. 44 Based on BCEN’s comments on pilot project regulations: Gage ( 2002), Brewster & Clogg (2000), and Clogg & Brewster (2000) 45 Based on pilot project proponents’ responses to BCEN’s comments: 1) Riverside’s responses to Andrew Gage’s (2002) comments, and 2) Stillwater’s responses on Nov. 14, 2000 to l Brewster and Clogg’s (2000) comments 75 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses Exemptions - • Exempted participants from a number of statutory requirements without creating new regulatory requirements which addressed equivalent issues – thus not providing equivalent protection to the Code • Did not ensure that forest practices would adequately manage and conserve forest resources, - therefore not consistent with the preamble to the Code. • Replacement of the Forest Development Plan and silviculture prescriptions with the stewardship plan and site level plans created de facto exemptions 46 from the Code and its regulations. It created exemptions without providing regulatory structures to provide equivalent protection to forest resources. • The exemption took away necessary information the Chief Forester needed in the making of the AAC, affected government officials’ plan approval and regulatory function, and kept the inventory information out of the public domain. • Most regulatory provisions of the Code would remain or be re-applied to the operations, and all other laws would continue to apply. • Equivalent protection would be achieved by meeting approved targets - rather than by writing equivalent prescriptive regulatory requirements. • Higher Level Plans such as LRMP, which stated the objectives of government and the wishes of the local community, would be followed. • There was no change or exemption from the Code until the stewardship plan was approved. • The combination of 1) the retained regulatory requirements, 2) a rigorous standard for stewardship plan approval and amendment, 3) the strategies that had to be developed to achieve the targets of the stewardship plan, and 4) the mandatory internal and external monitoring and reporting, would ensure that the pilot project adequately managed and conserved forest resources and was consistent with the preamble to the Code. • All provisions of the Code, the Code’s regulations and Forest Act which were applied to the forest tenure holders continued to apply, unless they were specifically disapplied. • The pilot project regulation replaced s.176 of the Code. As a result, a forest tenure holder no longer was required to prepare a Forest Development Plan, silviculture prescription or logging plan. Role of the government - • Moved from the role of technical oversight to value-based oversight. Forest management/stewardship zones - • Forest stewardship zones and associate map should be attached as part of the pilot regulation • The management zones would be established and mapped as part of the pilot regulation. However, given the concerns about having to go through the Cabinet each time for any possible future changes, the map would not be attached to the regulation. Instead, the map would be submitted by the proponents during the public comment and review period, and approved at the Ministerial level or, if delegated, the regional level. 46 Pilot project participants were generally exempted from having to prepare terrain mapping and requirements that a company recorded and evaluated the occurrence of forest health factors, performed a terrain stability field assessment in certain areas, and restrictions on harvesting on potentially unstable terrain. These requirements were specified under the OPR sections 13, 16 & 17, and the Timber Harvesting Practices Regulation section 8. 76 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses Stewardship Plan (e.g., Forest Stewardship Plan, Sustainable Forest Management Plan, Woodlot Plan, etc.) contained 1) the vision and goals of the pilot project proponents, 2) the criteria, or the “conditions” identified by the pilot proponents as desirable for the pilot project area, and 3) indicators and measurables identified by the pilot project proponents against which to evaluate whether the criteria or conditions were being advanced - Who should define objectives and goals for Crown Land? • This level of planning should not have been done by industry Higher Level Plan47 • The development of stewardship plan was not explicitly required to be consistent with higher level plans Objectives and goals for Crown Land • The stewardship plan generally based its criteria on the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) criteria, rather than on the LRMP objectives. • Government needed to be slow to give pilot project participants the power to replace the locally developed and government endorsed LRMP objectives with (the participants’) own criteria which were inconsistent with the LRMP objectives. • A more appropriate approach would be to require the criteria to include the LRMP objectives, possible in addition to the CCFM criteria. - Technical planning requirements & approvals • Stewardship plans under Part 10.1 did not involve approval of technical planning requirements. • The regional manger needed to require technical information on how those goals and values were expected to be implemented. • Some technical information needed to be submitted to the regional manager at the same time as the submission of a stewardship plan. 47 The Code required the content of Forest Development Plans and Silviculture Prescriptions to be consistent with higher level plans. See the Code’s sections 10(1) (d) & 12(a); see also sections 11(1) (c) & 13 in relation to other types of operational plans. The Code required that strategic plans established by the government needed to include public values and objectives, and that these values and objectives should be recognized and addressed in the course of forest operations. These strategic plans were termed as higher level plans, such as the resource management zones in the Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP), and the designation of landscape units and sensitive areas, and the Old Growth Management Areas (OGMAs). 77 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses - Technical planning requirements & approvals (continued) • Technical information needed to form part of the stewardship plan, and should not have been allowed to be amended by the pilot project participants without notice. • With the removal of plan approval for technical planning, the amount of information available to the public review was reduced. • Since the review of technical planning information was often the only opportunity for the public to obtain information concerning forest operations, the pilot project regulations needed to include a provision allowing the public access to information required under the Operational Planning Regulation Strategies & targets - • Written rationale needed to be provided to demonstrate how the selected strategies would achieve the broad objectives for each forest management zone. • The regulatory decision makers, in approving the stewardship plan, would have assessed whether or not the strategies and targets were consistent with the objectives of the pilot project regulation. Public consultation - • If concerns were not raised during the public review of the stewardship plan and were not marked as “area of concern,” there was no legal requirement to record them or to forward them to the district manager at the cutting stage. • The public would not have access to the same level of information about forest practices that would be conducted, and would not be able to comment directly on.48 • There was little knowledge or opportunity for the public to comment on specific operations. • Because comments had to cover a very large area, this made it almost impossible for the public to identify all stand level concerns. This format put the onus on the pubic to anticipate any possible areas of harvesting within the plan area. • Pilot project was to shift the planning process from the stand level to the landscape level to improve the process. The time delays associated with various approvals prior to harvesting resulted in inflexibility in forest tenure holders’ ability to respond to market fluctuations, in addition to high administration costs. • The pilot project regulation pruned the approval system to the approval of a stewardship plan and a cutting permit process. 48 The former Code’s Section 221.1(3) (c) required that a pilot project regulation provided an opportunity for public review and comment of the “forest practices” under the pilot project. 78 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses Public consultation – (continued) • The regulation reduced the ability for the public to focus their comments on specific areas of concern and could result in time spent on comments being wasted if the licensee never proposed logging there. • Information needed to be available to the public at least 60 days before a cutting permit was applied for; cutblock level comments received during this period needed to be forwarded to the district manager for consideration prior to an approval of a cutting permit. • There was no requirement as to what content had to be included in a site level plan; information about forest practices available under the Code might not be obtained in the pilot project. The pilot project needed to provide for broader disclosure to ensure that the public had the information required under the Code. • The s. 15 of the Operational Planning Regulation (OPR) required that prior to public review and approval of a Forest Development Plan (FDP), a riparian assessment had to be completed to identify the riparian class of streams, wetlands and lakes located in areas of joint approval. When the stewardship plan applied to an area of joint approval, riparian assessment had to be completed prior to approval of stewardship plan, not at the cutting permit stage as was proposed in the pilot project regulation. At a minimum, riparian assessment needed to be completed in all community watersheds within the plan area prior to public review and district manager approval., • Pilot project participants had to make its operational information and map available to the public. The map would be updated regularly and available at pilot participants’ divisional office, local public library, an annual public display, and the monthly meetings of the public advisory group, along with public comments and pilot participants’ responses. • The pilot project proposed to enhance public participation through early and ongoing involvement throughout the planning process. It could be 1) through a public/community advisory group working on the development of the management objectives, 2) through a review and comment period compatible with the Code requirement for the Forest Development Plan for the stewardship plan, (3) the district manager being satisfied that those comments were adequately addressed prior to the approval of cutting permits, (4) early resubmission of the stewardship plan if required by either district manager or the designated environmental official, and (5) inclusion of the public in the joint auditing process. • All proposed amendments to the landscape level strategic plan would be subject to public review and comment, but the approval of field variances at the stand level had to be allowed. • Under the OPR s. 15, riparian assessments were specific to cutblocks and road construction activities proposed on the FDP. The assessments were a stand-level requirement. As cutblocks were not shown on the stewardship plan, the requirement for riparian assessments would be addressed prior to the approval of the cutting permit, which was the trigger for stand level operations to commence. Thus, the requirement of the OPR s. 15 to complete a stand level riparian assessment prior to approval of operations was maintained. 79 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses Timber Harvesting and road - • Although the location of timber harvesting and road construction had to be submitted to a district manager 30 days before commencing the operation, site level plans didn’t need to be passed on to the government until within 48 hours of the commencing. The site level plan might be the first actual indication and methods of logging plan, with that short notice, it was unlikely to allow government to live up to its obligations to consult the public and First Nations. Stewardship plan amendment - • The pilot project participants might choose to amend the stewardship plan rather than to modify the forest practices to meet their criteria. It was not appropriate to allow the pilot project participants to change objectives in response to finding that a particular forest practices would not meet the original objectives. Government review - • Without knowing specific measurables related to each management objective, it was difficult for the public or the Cabinet to assess if the requirement in s. 221.1 of the Code (that the pilot would adequately manage and conserve forest resources) was met. • The Cabinet could assess whether the framework established by the pilot project regulation met the test set out in s. 221.1of the Code. • Specific measurables on objectives for zones were set out in the stewardship plan. • The pilot regulation established a framework for the regulators to determine if adequate management and conservation of forest resources would occur through the implementation of the stewardship plan. • Qualified government officials were required to judge whether the measurable targets and strategies proposed in the stewardship plan met the requirements to provide equivalent protection of the forest resource and resource features, so that the “dis-applications” of sections of the Code could take place. • This hierarchy of planning, combined with the regulatory test of adequately managing and conserving the resources (as found in s. 41 of the Code), was very consistent with the Code’s structure and intent. 80 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses Stand level approval - • Monitoring and auditing replacing the approval at the stand level were “after the fact,” did not provide equivalent protection for forest values. • Even if the site level plan contained an obvious risk to the environment, First Nations rights, or criteria of stewardship plan, the district manager would have only 48 hours to analyze the site level plan, recognize this risk and decide how to respond. And, in many cases a risk to the environment would arise from circumstances or characteristics not obvious on the face of a site level plan. • A site level plan was simply developed with no government oversight. • The pilot project regulation only assigned the officials the right to request plans (with no obligation of the participants to provide them), and did not give the officials ability to require changes to layout or design in the event there were problems with the plans. • Through the approval of the stewardship plan, the “adequately manage and conserve” test was met at both the landscape level and the stand level. • The stewardship plan specified stand level targets and strategies that would guide operational planning and measure performance. • Commitments to stand level standards could be found in the stewardship plan. • • Implementation of the strategies and achievement of the standards became the responsibility of the professionals. The legal obligations became the responsibility of the forest tenure holders. Thus, it would be redundant at the cutting permit stage to insert site level test. • What the pilot project participants would use to achieve the approved results was left to the professional expertise and staff judgment of the participants. They had to follow the criteria and comply with the many remaining Code standards. As a result, in no way was any participant simply developing “its own results.” • The results or criteria of the stewardship plan had to meet objective and subjective tests, including the requirement that they adequately managed and conserved forest resources and resource features and were consistent with the applicable LRMP objectives. It was the government who determined whether these results met the approval tests Baseline data - • To make a results-based approach work, it was critical that the participants complete appropriate inventory and collect sufficient baseline data, so that whether values and objectives were upheld could be measured against. • The pilot project in its form was an incremental approach to results-based management. It built a monitoring and valuation framework in a results-based process. The strategies and targets contained in the stewardship plan were designed around the Code requirements and practices, therefore would generate the baseline information. As well, all inventory commitments applied to the pilot project area. 81 Comments from BCEN Pilot Proponents’ Responses Adaptive management - • There was no requirement to amend the stewardship plan to take into account new information or comments subsequently received • The participants would amend the stewardship plan where forest practices would not meet the targets or strategies specified in the stewardship plan, or where new information that necessitated a change was made available • The pilot project regulation required the stewardship plan to be consistent with a number of documents, including higher level plan, the Watershed Management Plan and Landscape Unit Plans. An additional provision had been added to require the participants to submit the proposed amendments to the stewardship plan if any of these documents was changed or new information necessitated a change. Monitoring and evaluation - • The pilot project regulation neither required base- line data, nor asked the participants to collect inventory data. This made it difficult to monitor the effect of the regulation on ecological values. All inventory commitments would apply to the pilot project area. Compliance and enforcement - • A new category of defence was proposed. It created a range of eligible defenses arising from situations where the participants had not intended the result to occur. It ranged from “due diligence” defence to situations where the offence was caused by a natural disturbance. • Concerns over such defences included: compensation, lack of incentives for high standards, deficiency in clarity of responsibility, and confusion around causation. The Courts had generally assigned liability to the party most able to control the situation; due diligence defence should have only been available for penalties over and above an amount of compensation. The participants needed to demonstrate that they took steps to ensure that high level standards were pursued. It would rely on the participants for evidence as to whether due diligence was exercised; as a result, much of the effectiveness of the penalty sections would be lost. Particular, the defence arising from natural disturbance would raise questions of causation. • The risk of treating the participants unfairly in extreme cases should not have clouded the issues of responsibility in every case. It should only be addressed as one factor which the government may consider in determining the penalty. • The pilot project participants needed to be required to mitigate damage to forest resources resulting from their forest practices and responsible for compensating the public for loss as a result of their forest practices, regardless of whether the participants had intended it or not. 82 Chapter Five Forest Policy in Northeast BC in the 1990s and the early 2000s This chapter brings our attention to boreal BC, the Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) Zone in Northeast BC in particular. It begins with a description of the region and an introduction of its forestry development in recent decades. It then gives an overview of the region’s forest management, land use, and timber supply policies, followed by a closing section. The purpose of this chapter is to present a regional policy background for the Fort St. John Pilot Project - a case study of this thesis that will be detailed, analyzed, and explained in the remaining chapters. 5.1 Northeast BC Primarily in Northeast BC, BC boreal forest is found in the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) Zone, which makes up about 10% of the total land area of British Columbia and comprises mostly white spruce, trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, and black spruce forests (DeLong, Annas, and Stewart 1991; McDowell and Fergusson 1996, 2). The BWBS Zone includes the communities of Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Taylor, Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake, Atlin and several smaller settlements. About half of the ecosystem in the area is muskeg, swamp, and unproductive forest land; the rest of the BWBS Zone contains several different upland forest types, which provide a great diversity of habitat for many species native to the boreal forests (McDowell and Fergusson 1996, 3). Forest fires are frequent throughout the landscape, maintaining most of the forests in various successional stages (DeLong, Annas, and Stewart 1991, 238). The forest fires trigger forest succession where the burned site is quickly occupied and dominated by herbs, shrubs, and deciduous trees such as aspen and willow. Over time, conifers such as white spruce and black spruce re-establish and overtake the deciduous forests and become the dominant tree species. Because of the frequent fires, the landscape in the BWBS Zone is generally a mosaic of forest stands with various types and, with deciduous forests being common, providing productive habitats for ungulates, a wide selection of birds, and a variety of small mammals (DeLong, Annas, and Stewart 1991, 245; McDowell and Fergusson 1996, 1-3). Natural resources activities in the region consist of hunting, fishing, trapping, logging, oil and gas extraction and exploration, ranching, and grain production. The Peace River Valley near Dawson Creek and Fort St. John has some of the BC’s richest farmland (DeLong, Annas, and Stewart 1991, 240; McDowell and Fergusson 1996, 4). Two forest districts, the Fort Nelson Forest District and the Peace Forest District, oversee the forest management in 83 Northeast BC,1 where the Fort St. John TSA and the Fort Nelson TSA are situated. Northeast BC is also homeland to Treaty No. 8 First Nations, and six of the Treaty No. 8 First Nations are represented by the Treaty No. 8 Tribal Association in the region.2 5.2 Forest Industry in Northeast BC Forestry in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area Located in the northeastern BC BWBS Zone, the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area (TSA) is the sixth largest in BC and covers 4.67 million hectares. The forest industry arrived in the TSA in the late 50’s, and lumber was cut in many small mills along the Alaska Highway until the 70’s. In the 1990s, Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) operated two sawmills in the Fort St. John TSA, acquiring 95% of the TSA’s coniferous AAC. Fibreco Export Inc. (Fibreco) opened a pulp mill in Taylor in the late 80’s and utilized coniferous chips from sawmills in the region in the early 1990’s. Slocan Forest Products Ltd. (Slocan) invested (80%) in Fibreco in 1991 and later fully owned the Fibreco in the late 90’s. In addition, there were 90 some registrants in the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP) and 20 some Woodlot Licence holders in the Fort St. John TSA (Pedersen 1996). In the late 80’s, two forest companies - Slocan and Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (LP) - were successful in bidding for the deciduous AAC in the Fort St. John TSA and each retained a Pulpwood Agreement (PA 12 & PA 13) (Fort St. John Forest District 1996; Pedersen 1996).3 Despite the successful allocation of deciduous AAC, no deciduous was harvested until recent years, for there wasn’t a major facility utilizing deciduous (aspen) in the TSA. In 2000, Slocan and LP formed a joint venture company - Slocan-LP OSB Corp - in response to BC government’s call in 1998 for proposals to harvest aspen and cottonwood in the Fort St. John TSA. In 2004, Canfor purchased Slocan and took over the ownership and management responsibility of Slocan; the joint venture was renamed as Canfor-LP OSB Corp. The new joint venture began its oriented strand board (OSB) operation in late 2005. 1 The Peace Forest District covers the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area and the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Areas. 2 Member communities of the Treaty 8 Tribal Association include Doig River First Nation, Halfway River First Nation, Prophet River First Nation, Saulteau First Nations, Fort Nelson First Nation, and West Moberly First Nations, See http://www.treaty8.bc.ca/communities for summary of each Treaty 8 First Nation 3 In late 80’s, as a result of emerging interest in the deciduous resource, the Ministry of Forests invited applications for Pulpwood Agreements. The Fibreco Exports Inc. agreed to construct additional pulping capacity to use the deciduous resource from PA 12. An agreement was also offered and accepted by the Makin Pulp and Paper Ltd. to construct a pulp mill at Brittania Beach to use the deciduous resource from PA 15, but the agreement was cancelled in 1994. See BC Ministry of Forests (n.d.(b), 8) and Pedersen (1996). 84 Slocan (later Canfor) and LP had a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with five Treaty No. 8 First Nations on the deciduous volume for their OSB plant. Under the MOA, a Joint Management Advisory Committee (JMAC) that consisted of representatives from each of the five Treaty No. 8 First Nations and from Canfor and LP was established. The JMAC held quarterly meetings, and usually during those meetings information concerning forest management was shared and discussed between the forest industry and First Nation groups. Since the functioning of the Fort St. John OSB plant in 2005, First Nations who were involved in the MOA began to look after the log yard and the scaling of deciduous volume that was part of the OSB plant (personal communications with a First Nation representative and a representative of the Fort St. John Pilot Project participants). In late 2001, the three major forest tenure holders in the Fort St. John TSA – Canfor, LP, and Slocan – and the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP, now BCTS) jointly proposed a Part 10.1 pilot project – the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP) - to experiment with a results-based forest practices regulatory framework. The West Moberly First Nation was also involved in the FSJPP because the community had a joint renewable forest licence with Canfor. The pilot project continues to operate to date (see next chapter for details of the FSJPP). In the Fort St. John TSA, currently Canfor purchases, harvests, and grows timber for the three major wood processing facilities - the sawmill, the pulpmill, and the OSB plant.4 Forestry in the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area Situated in the far northeastern corner of BC, the Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area (TSA) is the second largest timber supply area in BC, covering about 9.9 million hectares, with 4.2 million hectares of productive forest land. Of the TSA area, about 22% of the productive forest is considered available for harvesting.5 Spruce, aspen, pine and cottonwood were the tree species most commonly harvested by the forest industry in the TSA, and there had been interest to harvest birch (BC Forest Service 1992, 4; BC Ministry of Forests 1997a, 3-4; BC Ministry of Forests 2000a, Executive Summary). As well, a significant proportion of the timber harvesting land base (THLB) in the TSA is mixedwood stands.6 4 It is noted that deciduous use in the Dawson Creek timber supply area and in the Fort Nelson timber supply area was ahead of the Fort St. John timber supply area. LP’s Dawson Creek Division has been using deciduous since 1989. Slocan established an OSB plant in Fort Nelson area in 1996. 5 The original size of the Fort Nelson TSA was about 8.2 million hectares, about 1.5 million hectares within the Cassiar TSA was added to the Fort Nelson TSA sometime after 2000. However, the area added is remote and not expected to contribute significantly to timber supply in the short term. See BC Ministry of Forests 2000a, Executive Summary. 6 About 35% of the coniferous timber harvesting land base is mixed coniferous-deciduous stands, and about 32% of deciduous timber harvesting land base is mixed deciduous-coniferous stands. See BC Ministry of Forests, 2000a Executive Summary. 85 By 1996, Slocan had established an OSB plant utilizing deciduous timber supply in the Fort Nelson TSA. Tackama Forest Products Limited, a subsidiary of Slocan, is the largest company in the Fort Nelson TSA. Another major forest industry employer in Fort Nelson was Canadian Chopstick Manufacturing Company Limited, which utilized some of the area’s aspen, but was later permanently shutdown on April 1, 1997 (BC Ministry of Forests 1997a, 4). Slocan and its subsidiary Tackama Forest Products are the major wood processors in the Fort Nelson TSA; they operated a sawmill, an OSB plant and a veneer/plywood mill (BC Ministry of Forests 2000b) in the TSA until April 2004, when Canfor acquired Slocan. Since then, Canfor became the only major corporate license holder in the Fort Nelson TSA.7 5.3 Forest Management in Northeast BC Rising interest in deciduous and mixedwood and the establishment of OSB plants Since the 80s, utilizing deciduous species became popular in the boreal mixedwood regions. In 1987, a working group met at the Boreal Hardwood Research and Development Meeting in Prince George and identified boreal hardwood use and management problems. Outdated inventory, land use conflicts, short of hardwood stocking standards, as well as deficiency in stand tending requirements, growth projections, and reforestation requirements, were among such problems.8 Apparently, the government’s effort in this region in the late 1980s was focusing on mixedwood reforestation and hardwood utilization.9 The BC Ministry of Forests formed a task force to facilitate the use of deciduous trees (or hardwoods); and in 1986 the task force recommended the interim strategies for managing hardwoods in the Peace Timber Sales Area (now the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area and the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area). Despite government’s effort, growing public concerns over forestry practices in the region10 deferred the industrial use of deciduous and mixedwood forests. It was not until 1996 and 2005 when Slocan established the OSB plant in Fort Nelson and the Fort St. John respectively that industry began to process the deciduous harvested into a medium-density fiberboard.11 7 Canfor announced in January 2008 that the company’s OSB plant and plywood mill in Fort Nelson would be shut down (Hamilton 2008a). But in February 2008, the company reversed its decision on closing its Takama plywood plant (Hamilton 2008b). 8 Other problems that were pointed out include slash disposal, regeneration response, soil compaction, erosion, and gene conservation. See Peterson, Kabzems, and Peterson 1989. 9 Navratil, Brantner, and Zasada (1991, 41) points out issues of mixedwood management: the lack of well tried silvicultural practices for the treatment of mixedwood stands, and the absence of understanding of biological dynamics in boreal forest ecosystems. 10 See Sterling (1994) and a Rainforest Action Network report in 1994 claimed that Canadian Chopstick Manufacturing Company (CCMC), a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, at its Fort Nelson operation in BC wasted 85% of the aspen that it cut to produce chopsticks. 11 Louisiana-Pacific (LP) also began its operation of OSB plant nearby Dawson Creek at a later time. 86 The LRMPs, the timber supply reviews, the Part 10.1 legislation, and the Fort St. John Pilot Project As noted in Chapter Three, the comprehensive, multi-tiered land use planning that involved the public (BC Forest Resources Commission 1991) subsequently led to the creation of the Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) in 1997 for the sub-regions of the Fort St John TSA and the Fort Nelson TSA (see Section 5.4 below). Also, the AAC determinations in Northeast BC in the 90’s and the early 2000’s followed the province-wide new timber supply review process. During that time, the region’s timber supply encountered two policy issues: a reduction of future coniferous inventory due to forest succession in the region, and the uncertain post-harvest silviculture regime for mixedwood stands (see Section 5.6 below). With Higher Level Plans such as the LRMPs and the Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan (see Section 5.5 below) becoming available and the Part 10.1 legislation coming into force, a results-based pilot project was proposed to test the alternative forest practices regulatory framework in the region. In late 1999, a group of volume-based forest tenure holders led by Canfor in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area submitted a Part 10.1 pilot project proposal – the Fort St. John Pilot Project - and a draft of pilot project regulation to the Ministry of Forests for review and approval. In June 2001, the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP) proposal was approved, and in December 2001 its pilot project regulation was made effective. As of July 2009, the regulation is still in effect. 12 5.4 Land Use Policy in Northeast BC As part of the overall provincial strategic land use planning process,13 the Fort St. John LRMP and the Fort Nelson LRMP were both initiated in 1993 and developed under the provincial land use policy initiatives. The two LRMPs were both approved in October 1997 by the BC government. The public, the local industry, and the government resource agencies jointly developed those LRMPs, which resulted in changes to protected areas, the zoning of land base for various extent of forest management, and a planning framework for the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area. In keeping with the guidance provided by these LRMPs, industrial development was usually permitted in all categories of resource management zones, with the exception of the Protected Areas. Each LRMP provided strategic directions for more detailed planning in resource development in its planning area, and demanded resource management strategies to minimize negative impacts on environmental and conservation values. 12 See BC Ministry of Forests and Range, Results-Based FPC Pilot Project home page at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/rbpilot/index.htm#update 13 Each LRMP followed the same principles and process (i.e., considering all resource values, requiring public participation and interagency coordination as well as consensus-based decisions) suggested by the Integrated Resource Planning Committee in 1993. Each LRMP formed a sub-regional component of the proposed BC’s provincial Land Use Strategy. 87 The Fort St. John LRMP and the Fort Nelson LRMP in Northeast BC had many similarities and some differences. Both LRMPs incorporated the principle of integrated resource management into a long term plan (ten years) for resource development on the sub-region’s Crown land within the respective planning area. The majority of the land use management directions provided by the two LRMPs for each land use category were similar. These LRMPs were the outcome of the collective deliberations of a range of local private citizens, stakeholders and government agency representatives. Together they developed objectives and strategies for 64 resource management zones, and recommended 32 areas for protection; also each designed a similar framework for implementation and monitoring. Additionally, the two LRMPs offered policy recommendations with regard to the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area (see Section 5.5 below), special consideration for large protected areas and the subsurface resources under protected areas, and matters concerning other important land use issues. Both LRMPs increased the outlook for protected areas in Northeast BC, and decreased the prospect for enhanced resource management in both planning areas. As a result, the long term economic growth in the petroleum and forest industries was expected to be somewhat reduced in the Fort St. John LRMP planning area. New exploration for, and development of, gas reserves would likely be impacted in the Fort Nelson LRMP planning area, since the then existing laws prohibited gas exploration/development in parks. Risks to wildlife population and backcountry recreation/tourism activities were anticipated to be lower as a result of the Code, new Protected Areas, and the reduced chance of regional fragmentation. Existing jobs and land base for timber supply were not expected to be significantly impacted by both LRMPs. Differences between the two LRMPs in their weighting of each land use category and management directions reflected the unique structure of the local economy of each planning area. The Fort St. John LRMP (1997) proposed 12% of the planning area for Agriculture/Range and Settlement Areas while the Fort Nelson LRMP proposed no area zoned for such use. In the Fort St. John LRMP planning area, where energy and agriculture sectors were much more significant compared to forest sector, a higher percentage of the planning area was proposed for general resource development (46% of the planning area for integrating resource values). This difference in allocation illustrated the importance of integrated resource management when significant competing resource values exist. As a result, the Fort St. John LRMP (1997) suggested integrating energy and mineral exploration and development activities with other resource activities, and utilizing flexible timber harvesting activities to accommodate other resource values. These suggestions further indicated the importance of integrated resource management when multiple sectors were competing for resource benefits within the same land base. Compared to the Fort St. John LRMP (1997), the Fort Nelson LRMP (1997) proposed a higher percentage of the planning area for protected areas (11% of the planning area for resource values other than industrial 88 uses), for enhanced resource development (36% of the planning for intensive resource development), and for special resource management (29% of the planning area for limited resource development), but a lower percentage of the planning area for general resource development (24% of the planning area for integrating wide array of resource values). This revealed the nature of a forestry-dominant local economy in the Fort Nelson LRMP planning area. As may be expected, the Fort Nelson LRMP (1997) emphasized the need to initiate landscape unit planning in priority and use knowledge of natural disturbance patterns for such planning. In addition, the Fort Nelson LRMP (1997) suggested maintaining and/or enhancing continued supply of timber, salvaging timber and reducing loss of the timber harvest land base, and reforesting all non-satisfactory restocked area with commercial species. These recommendations showed the strong support the Fort Nelson LRMP (1997) gave to the forestry sector in the planning area. Regarding the overall forestry directions in Northeast BC, harvesting that emulated natural disturbance was encouraged; therefore some larger openings were acceptable. While both LRMPs emphasized the importance of maintaining diversity of wildlife and old-growth attributes, they recommended this could be done without compromising both consumptive and non-consumptive goals. As the Fort St. John LRMP (1997) highlighted landscape level silviculture systems and flexible harvesting activities, the Fort Nelson LRMP (1997) emphasized landscape unit planning for seral stage distribution, reforestation with commercial species, and rehabilitating disturbed forest land. The two LRMPs both recommended maintaining or enhancing timber supply, salvaging damaged or killed timber, and reducing loss of the timber harvest land base. In short, large scale, flexible harvesting and silviculture system were acceptable, in the opinion of the two LRMP planning tables, in Northeast BC, and sustainable timber supply was emphasized as well. 5. 5 The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Subsequent to the approval of the two LRMPs in Northeast BC, on June 18, 1998, BC Premier Glen Clark announced a significant land use decision in BC - the establishment of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area (the MKMA) through a separate act, the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Act (assented to July 30, 1998). The MKMA is a vast wilderness area (6.4 million hectares) in British Columbia's Northern Rockies, overlapping the Fort Nelson LRMP and Fort St. John LRMP areas. The area includes 1.735 million hectares of parks and protected areas, and is surrounded by special management areas. 14 The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Act provided approval structures at the local level that would lead to more timely and efficient approvals for industrial development. An advisory group and a legislated trust 14 See http://www.muskwa-kechika.com/library/media/bg98_06-18.html and http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/M/98038_01.htm, accessed November 2005; http://www.muskwa- kechika.com/management-area/legislation.asp, accessed May 16, 2007 89 fund were devised to represent a balance of environmental, economic and sustainable development interests for the area and support the management of the MKMA. The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Act allowed exemptions from certain planning requirements and permitted amendments to the Muskwa- Kechika Management Area Management Plan from time to time. The Muskwa-Kechika Management Act was unique in being the first legislated example of the use of regulatory policy and fiscal policy (i.e., establishment of a trust fund to finance projects in support of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area intent) to advance conservation on lands allocated for resource development in the boreal forest.15 In the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, Special Management Zones (SMZs) were areas identified as containing special ecological or social values with an overall goal to protect biodiversity and other non- timber values and functions. The goal would be achieved through management systems based on ecology instead of ones based on resource extraction (Cooperman 1998). Hence, timber harvesting in the Muskwa- Kechika Management Area was expected to be conducted in a manner that would conserve non- commercial forestry values such as wildlife habitat, wilderness recreation, biological diversity, visual quality, and spiritual and cultural values. Similarly, objectives established for each landscape unit would guide the forestry activities in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.16 5.6 Timber Supply in Northeast BC The following sections review the timber supply policy and AAC determinations in Northeast BC, where the Fort St John TSA and the Fort Nelson TSA situated. The review depicts the forest practices scheme, its constraints, issues or uncertainties, and government’s deliberation at the time of each AAC decision for the region. This section also makes note of challenges that the timber supply in Northeast BC encountered. The purpose is to unveil how forest operability and management practices evolved in Northeast (or boreal) BC in the 90’s and the early 2000’s and what changes took place. Similar to the land use policy section, this section hopes to shed light on how changes in timber supply determinations set the context for the fibre allocation, therefore the economic significance and dynamics among stakeholders, and factors that motivated policy change in the studied regions. Timber Supply in the Fort St. John TSA Timber supply in the Fort St. John TSA prior to 1990 was characterized by three features: non-recognition of deciduous values, a preference towards spruce, and overestimation of the coniferous yield. Due to a general non-recognition of deciduous values, the deciduous stands were not considered merchantable until the late 80’s (Girvan and Pousette 1990, 6). Also, because of the species preference, the heights and ages of the inventoried forest-cover polygons were representative of those of the second or preferred species, which 15 Ibid. 16 See http://www.muskwa-kechika.com/management-area/forestry.asp, accessed on May 16, 2007 90 was generally spruce instead the leading species. As a result, the forest cover maps resulting from pre-90’s inventories generally showed what was labeled but not what was there in the woods (Girvan and Pousette 1990, 6, 7, 105). In addition, yield forecasts generally overestimated the coniferous growing stock in mature stands (Girvan and Pousette 1990, 104). In 1981, the AAC for the Peace Timber Sales Area, which in 1987 was divided into the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area (TSA), the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area (TSA), and TFL 48 (see Section 5.8 later),17 was determined to be 2 million m3/year for predominately coniferous stands. The Fort St John District’s apportionment of this coniferous AAC was 909,660m3/year, and there was no AAC established for deciduous stands at the time (Pedersen, 1996). Soon after the 1981 AAC determination, three factors prompted a forest resource analysis: Canfor’s application for a Tree Farm Licence (TFL), the revision of the TSA boundary, and the requests for deciduous licences (Girvan and Pousette 1990, 52-5). In 1986, a timber supply option that addressed the utilization of deciduous stands was proposed for the first time in an analysis report titled “The Peace Timber Supply Area Options Report” (Girvan and Pousette 1990, 52-5).18 In 1987, the AAC determined for the Fort St John TSA was determined to be 1.85 million m3/year (900,000m3/year for coniferous stands and 950,000m3/year for deciduous stands, see Girvan and Pousette 1990, 56; Pedersen 1996). Although in 1987, for the first time, a deciduous AAC was determined for the Fort St. John TSA, there was no deciduous processing capacity in the TSA. To attract industry that could utilize deciduous timber supply in the TSA, the government assumed all deciduous-leading would support the deciduous AAC (Girvan and Pousette 1990, 56). In 1989, the AAC for the Fort St. John TSA was determined as 1.82million m3/year, with a slight increase for coniferous stands to 900,162m3/year and a reduction for deciduous stands to 915,000m3/year (Pedersen 1996). Nonetheless, no significant deciduous harvesting occurred during that period. In the early 90’s, several reports encouraged the development of a new Timber Supply Review (TSR) process in BC at the provincial level: 1) the internal review report known as the Errico/Pedersen Report (BC Ministry of Forests 1991), which expressed concerns over the relevancy and quality of timber supply analysis in the 80’s, and 2) the BC Forest Resources Commission’s report entitled The Future of Our Forests (April, 1991, 82, 84), which recommended an improved timber supply review process for a sustainable fibre supply. In addition, Girvan and Pousette’s (1990) technical review (A Technical Review of Inventory and AAC for the Fort St. John TSA, prepared for the BC Forest Resources Commission), 17 See http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/tsr1/ration/tsa/tsa41/41Ra0003/htm, accessed December 2, 2007 18 Government’s intention of only allowing the benefits of intensive silviculture when the treatments were complete and the stands had matured, instead of allowing an immediate AAC effect, was also indicated in the 1986 Options Report. See Girvan and Pousette 1990, 107. 91 recommended examining the mixedwood management opportunities.19 As a result, a new Timber Supply Review process occurred in the region, with round one being in the in the mid 90’s and round two in the early 2000s Public timber supply in the Fort St. John TSA in the 90’s and early 2000’s could be characterized by two phenomena: increasing the coniferous AAC level and maintaining the deciduous AAC level, as shown in Table 5.1. Table 5.1 Determined AAC for the Fort St. John TSA Year AAC (m3/year) 1996 2,015,000 1,100,000 coniferous-leading 915,000 deciduous-leading 2003 2,115,000 1,200,000 coniferous-leading 915,000 deciduous-leading Source: Pedersen (1996, 2003) The majority of the deciduous AAC was intended to supply an OSB plant proposed in the TSA during the late 90’s. Near the end of 2005, an OSB plant that utilized mainly aspen eventually began its production in the Fort St. John TSA. In summary, prior to 1986, AACs determined for the Fort St. John TSA were predominately based on industrial preference for spruce stands with little recognition of deciduous value. The first deciduous AAC for the Fort St. John TSA was determined in 1987 with little efforts made to identify “merchantable” deciduous land base, and consequently most (94%) of the deciduous land base contributing to the deciduous AAC. Since then, the deciduous AACs stayed the same level to date, except a slight reduction in 1989. The majority of the deciduous AAC in the Fort St John TSA was intended to supply an oriented strand board (OSB) plant proposed to operate in the Fort St. John TSA. On the other hand, the coniferous AACs in the Fort St John TSA have been increased three times during the past three determinations, owing to factors such as the AAC effect, inclusion of previously not 19 In addition to recommending examining the mixedwood management opportunities in their technical review report, Girvan and Pousette (1990) also put forth the following recommendations to the BC government: maximizing the minor species components’ recovery, carrying out intensive silviculture program, and monitoring seismic activity so that appropriate adjustments to land base could be made. 92 considered harvestable stands (i.e., small pine stands), and increased volume estimates for regenerated stands. Discussion concerning mixedwoods management only began as a result of a technical review for the Fort St. John TSA (Girvan and Pousette 1990). To date, harvesting mixedwoods in the TSA remains small scale and mixedwood management strategy is still under development. In addition, since 1995, the Fort St. John TSA timber supply analyses zoned the TSA’s timber harvesting land base according to similarity of resource management practices (or emphases) and incorporated the principle of integrated resource management to take into account non-timber values. Provisions such as forest cover (especially old-age forest cover), stand- and landscape- level biodiversity requirements, riparian reserves and riparian management zones, visual quality, and protected areas only became additional timber supply constraints when the Code and its supplement guidebooks and the approved LRMP were fully implemented. Fort St. John TSA AAC apportionment In the 90’s, forest tenure holders active in the Fort St. John TSA included Canadian Forest Products Ltd (Canfor), Fibreco Export Inc. (Fibreco), Slocan Forest Products Ltd. (Slocan), Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (LP), the SBFEP (now BCTS), and some Woodlot Licence holders. The allocation of AAC to each forest tenure holder in the Fort St. John TSA is summarized in Table 5.2. 93 Table 5.2 Allocation of AAC to Forest Tenure Holders in the Fort St. John TSA in the 90’s Tenure Holders AAC (m3/year) Canfor Forest Licence A18154 (replaceable) 394,952 (coniferous-leading) Forest Licence A56771 (non- replaceable)20 150,000 (coniferous-leading) Slocan (acquired by Canfor in April 2004) Pulpwood Agreement No. 12 (non-replaceable) 500,000 (deciduous-leading) LP Forest Licence 60049 (non- replaceable) 193,000 (deciduous-leading) Forest Licence 60050 (non- replaceable) 0 Forest Licence 60972 (non- replaceable, later held by Tembec Industries Inc.) 69,085 (coniferous-leading) Pulpwood Agreement No.13 (non-replaceable, later held by Tembec Industries Inc.) 18,000 (deciduous-leading) BCTS Timber Sale Licence 372,059 (coniferous-leading) 180,000 (deciduous-leadings) Forest Licence (non-replaceable) 70,000 (coniferous-leading) Woodlot Licence holders 23,818 (coniferous-leading) 12,641(deciduous-leading) Source: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/apportionment/Documents/APTR011%2040.PDF, accessed November 29, 2007 Operating under the provincial forest policy framework and the regional land use and timber supply configurations, in 2001 the three leading forest tenure holders - Canfor, LP, and Slocan – and the SBFEP (later became BCTS) in the Fort St. John TSA jointly entered into a Part 10.1 pilot project to experiment with a results-based forest practices regulatory framework (BC Ministry of Forests 2002) and West Moberly First Nations were partners of the pilot project (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 1999, 10). A detailed account for the development of the Fort St. John Pilot Project will be provided in the next chapter, and analyzed and explained in Chapters Seven and Eight. Timber Supply in the Fort Nelson TSA Before 1990, other resource values (e.g., forest recreation, landscape and wildlife) in the Fort Nelson TSA were not integrated well into timber supply planning models, and harvest models were exclusively focusing on a series of harvesting rules (e.g., harvesting oldest ages, maximum volume, or the slowest growing stands first). In 1989, the AAC determined for the Fort Nelson TSA was 972,000m3/year, including 20 West Moberly First Nations were partners on FL A56771. See Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 1999, 10 94 77,000m3/year of aspen added to the TSA’s 1988 AAC (i.e. 145,000m3/year of cottonwood and 750,000m3/year of conifer) (Prince George Forest Region Planning and Inventory Section 1992, Executive Summary). As a result of changing public values, improved technology, and a strong deciduous market, issues surrounding timber harvesting began to emerge in late 80’s (BC Forest Service 1992). Upon reviewing the historical forest management performance (1983 – 1989), the BC Ministry of Forests found that, due to a lack of basic silviculture, the forest profile in the Fort Nelson TSA was altered and the productivity of the forest was expected to decline substantially (BC Ministry of Forests 1993a, 10). Based on the 1992 Analysis (Prince George Forest Region Planning and Inventory Section 1992, Executive Summary) and the recommendations of the report Aspen Resources (Prince George Forest Region Planning Section 1993), aspen became a commercial species in the Fort Nelson TSA in the 90’s, and that led to a sufficient supply of aspen - a 54% increase (mainly deciduous) in deciduous AAC in 1994. The AAC for the Fort Nelson TSA in 1994 was increased to 1,500,000m3/year, of which 600,000m3/year were partitioned to coniferous-leading stands and 900,000m3/year were partitioned to deciduous-leading stands. The increase in 1994 deciduous AAC was mainly due to the improved outlook regarding the economics of utilizing aspen. Following the 1994 AAC determination, harvesting in mixedwood stands in the Fort Nelson TSA became active, and decision of whether to include an area of mixedwood stands became dependent on multi- variables rather than just the forest types. Also, both coniferous and deciduous stands were included in the calculation of delivered wood costs (DWCs), instead of coniferous stands only. This change made some areas more economical for harvesting operations. To reflect these changes, an inclusion of forest stands previously not considered doubled the coniferous timber harvesting land base in the 2000 Analysis for the TSA. Nonetheless, given the wide range of uncertainty in inventory and in information regarding mixedwood contribution, the Chief Forester decided that an increase in both coniferous harvest and deciduous was not justified. Consequently, effective September 1, 2001, the AAC for the Fort Nelson TSA was set at the same level as that in the 1994 determination. In the AAC determination in 2001, Chief Forester Larry Pedersen assumed that the effect of landscape-level biodiversity objectives on the AAC for the Fort Nelson TSA would not be significant due to the abundance of forest outside the timber harvesting land base in most landscape units. Pedersen also considered that the designation of park areas resulted from the implementation of the Fort Nelson LRMP had only a minor impact on the timber harvesting land base. Moreover, Pedersen also believed that, up to 2001, few policy initiatives for forest land use and the Code and the Code’s guidelines appeared to cause significant impact on the AAC in the Fort Nelson TSA. 95 In a nutshell, the Fort Nelson TSA’s AAC in 1994 reduced coniferous allocation21 and significantly increased the allowable deciduous (mostly related to leading aspen stands) harvest. The majority of the deciduous increment was allocated for the pulpwood agreement held by Slocan Forest Products and the company’s new OSB plant.22 As a result of a 1997 re-evaluation which indicated that the coniferous portion in the Fort Nelson TSA was likely to increase, effective in November 2006, a minor increase in coniferous AAC, compared to the 1994 and 2001 AAC levels, was allocated in the Fort Nelson TSA. The third round of timber supply review for the Fort Nelson TSA was initiated in 2003 and was conducted by a DFAM group (see Section 5.7 below for its development) in the TSA.23 The Fort Nelson TSA AAC apportionment Tackama Forest Products Limited (a subsidiary of Slocan Forest Products Ltd.), Slocan Forest Products Ltd, and Canadian Chopstick Manufacturing Company (CCMC) Ltd.24 were the three major wood processors operating in the Fort Nelson TSA in the 90’s (BC Ministry of Forests 1997a, 4).25 They operated a saw mill, a veneer/plywood mill, a CCMC plant, and an oriented-strand board (OSB) facility in the TSA (BC Ministry of Forests 2000b).26 With regard to the allotment of the Fort Nelson TSA’s AAC to each individual forest tenure holder in the sub-region, Slocan Forest Products held a pulpwood agreement (610,000 m3/year of deciduous) mainly to supply its OSB mill in Fort Nelson. The CCMC held a forest licence (aspen) A32900, which was originally set at 77,000m3/year (subsequently reduced to 69,364m3/year) but a much higher aspen volume was 21 The coniferous AAC was allocated for licensees committed to increase the harvest of lodgepole-pine-leading stands and lower quality stands. 22 http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/rmd/lrmp/frtnelsn/app2/app2exec.htm; http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/rmd/lrmp/frtnelsn/app3/app3sec2/htm; AAC Rationale fro Fort Nelson TSA November 2006, available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/tsa/tsa08/tsr3/08ts06ra.pdf, accessed May 17, 2007; Prior to the 1994 AAC determination, the sole user of the aspen harvest was the Canadian Chopstick Manufacturing (CCMC) plant, which was opened in Fort Nelson in 1990. Since only a portion of the aspen harvest was suitable for chopstick making, the potential for effective use of this aspen residue was a major reason in deciding to reach Pulpwood Agreement for the OSB plant. 23 The third timber supply review (TSR3) was initiated in 2003. The Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area (TSA) DFAM Group, including Canadian Forest Products Ltd (the only major licensee in the Fort Nelson TSA) and BCTS, has submitted a Timber Supply Review (TSR 3) Data Package to the BC Ministry of Forests for review in January 2004 and the Data Package was accepted on October 13, 2004. The AAC Rationale for Fort Nelson TSA was released in November 2006, available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/tsa/tsa08/tsr3/08ts06ra.pdf, accessed May 17, 2007 24 The CCMC was opened in 1990, it utilized some of the Fort Nelson TSA’s aspen timber, but later was permanently shutdown on April 1, 1997 25 Also see BC Integrated Land Management Bureau, Fort Nelson Land and Resource Management Plan Appendix II Fort Nelson LRMP Base Case 5. Forestry, available at: http://ilmbwww.gov.bc.ca/lup/lrmp/northern/frtnelsn/app2/sec5.html, accessed November 29, 2007 26 Ibid. 96 harvested to fulfill the licence requirement (BC Integrated Land Management Bureau 1997a). Tackama Forest Products held three forest licences (totaling 733,736m3/year, of which 538,973m3/year was for coniferous stands) to produce lumber, veneer and plywood at its Fort Nelson operations (BC Integrated Land Management Bureau 1997a). Tackama also purchased most of Small Business sales and smaller volumes from private timber sales and aspen residue, and operated a total milling (sawmill and plywood) of about 800,000m3/year (an approximate mix of 85% spruce and pine and 15% cottonwood and aspen (BC Integrated Land Management Bureau 1997a). Since the acquisition of Slocan in 2004, Canfor became the only major corporate license holder in the Fort Nelson TSA. 5.7 DFAM Groups In April 2003, a new timber supply policy was put forth so that holders of replaceable forest licences and other holders of agreements who met the prescribed requirements would together with the BC Timber Sales managers, form Defined Forest Area Management (DFAM) groups in each of the 37 TSAs and 33 tree farm licences (TFLs) in BC. Each DFAM group was supposed to jointly prepare a Data Package and carry out a Timber Supply Analysis at least once every 5 years, except for units that were postponed by BC Chief Forester. 27 However, in 2005, the policy was refined to allow the government to assume these responsibilities in TSAs where licensees did not wish to complete the activities (see BC MoFR Letter to DFAM Lead Licensees and Industry Associations, dated March 16, 2005). Even so, the 2006 AAC determination for the Fort Nelson TSA was completed under this Defined Forest Area Management Area (DFAM) initiative (BC Ministry of Forests and Range 2006b). 5.8 TFL 48 On top of the two Timber Supply Areas, another important forest land base in the region is the TFL 48. In December 1988, the forest licence held by Canfor was converted to the Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 48 with a land base of 661,365 hectares and an initial AAC of 0.41 million m3/year. In BC, a TFL is long-term forest tenure between forest companies and the BC government. Canfor’s TFL 48 is located in Northeast BC around the communities of Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope and Tumbler Ridge. Effective since September 20, 2001, the TFL 48 has an AAC of 0.58 million cubic metres per year. Its forest management was certified by the CSA-SFM systems (CAN/CSA Z809-96) and the ISO 14001 EMS, and was undergoing periodic audits (BC Ministry of Forests and Range 2005; KPMG 2005). 27 See Bill 44 2003 Forest Statutes Amendment Act (No.2), 2003, sectrions10.1 to 10.5, which came into force on April 1 2005. The timber supply review responsibility of each DFAM group included: data collection, data package preparation, conducting a timber supply analysis and completing an analysis report, providing for public and First Nations reviews, and submitting digital data files. 97 5.9 Forest Policy in Northeast BC and its Challenges As noted in Chapter Three, although the enactment of the Code (being fully implemented since June 15, 1997) and the Code’s requirements for biodiversity emphases, environmental and scenic values, and wildlife habitat were expected to influence timber supply decisions, the impact of the Code on timber supply was strategically set by the New Democratic Party’s Harcourt government to be at a level of, on average, no more than 6% (BC Ministry of Forests, n. d. (a)). Constraints set forward by new policy initiatives in the 1990s appeared to have little impact on forest operations in Northeast BC, as both LRMPs in the region assured that policy constraints could be met without compromising both consumptive and non-consumptive goals. However, local land base factors such as protected areas and land use zoning resulting from the region’s LRMP processes, problem forest types, forest succession, and forest land occupied by roads and other users, or carrying cultural values, also influenced forest management in Northeast BC. In addition, the forest companies’ priority weighting to deciduous and coniferous stands, the state of forest inventory, the progress in forest model, the choices on harvestable ages, silviculture, and utilization standards, and the government’s economic and social objectives, also played a part in shaping the forest management in the region in the 90’s and the early 2000’s. Improvement in forest techniques, and government’s advocacy for deciduous utilization giving new priority weighting to deciduous and coniferous stands seemed to partially offset the problem of decline in the coniferous inventory in the region. The forest industry in the region generally was encouraged by the new economic value of deciduous and mixedwood stands, and the modern calculation of delivered wood costs, which took into account the costs of both deciduous and coniferous harvesting. However, such interests brought new stakeholders to the forest land base, potentially increasing the level of resource use conflict, particularly in the Fort St. John sub-region, where forest companies already faced more competing resource users Faced with increasing resource use conflict, in particular the new arrival of the OSB plant, three leading forest companies – Canfor, Slocan, LP – along with the SBFEP, seized on the opportunity afforded by the Part 10.1 legislation to benefit from further regulatory relief on their forest planning and operations, while continuing to maintain the same level of protection on resources feature. 98 Chapter Six The Fort St. John Pilot Project This chapter presents a narrative for the Fort St. John Pilot Project’s policy process, content and change. The resource dilemma in the Fort St. John TSA in the late 90’s is first outlined. It is followed by an introduction to the Fort St. John Pilot Project and the pilot project’s regulatory framework. The policy process, policy content, and policy change of the Fort St. John Pilot Project are then reviewed and summarized. An outline of the pilot project’s effects and consequences concludes this chapter. 6.1 Resource Dilemmas in the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area (TSA) As mentioned in the previous chapter, the Fort St. John TSA is situated in the Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification Zone in Northeast BC. The TSA provides various resources valuable to diverse stakeholders in the area. But, due to the unique feature of its forest resources, competition from other resources users, and the emerging value of deciduous and mixedwoods, the forest industry in the Fort St. John TSA found a growing need to cope with potential controversies and conflicts.1 As a result, resource use in the area became more uncertain and complicated. The outlook of forest management in the Fort St. John TSA was influenced by issues surrounding First Nations’ right and title, controversial regulatory rules, new resource users, and economic cycles. The increasing oil and gas interests attracted to the area and the complex configuration of resource tenures also complicated the circumstances. Forest companies in Fort St. John were thus motivated to develop an effective working relationship with other resource users to adapt to the economic and resource dynamics. 1 See Morellato (1998) for a court case of Halfway River First Nation vs. British Columbia (Ministry of Forests)  4 C.N.L.R. 45 (“Halfway”) for dispute between a Treaty No. 8 First Nations and Canfor on a cutting permit. The petitioners asserted that the area affected by the cutting permit in question was within their traditional territory, and the permit is likely related to the infringement of aboriginal rights. Also see BC Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (2004) forward and introduction, Section 1, p.1 for problem with the overlapping resource tenures and its emphasis on coordination and reducing conflict between tenure holders. 99 6.2 The Fort St. John Pilot Project As mentioned in Chapters Three and Four, in July 1999 Part 10.1 legislation was introduced. The legislation mandates pilot projects to produce at least the equivalent protection for forest resources and resource features as that produced under the Code and to achieve the goals specified in the Preamble to the Code and higher level plans. With the new legislation, government’s oversight on forest practices shifted from the “process” to “on the ground results.” Public review and comment became mandatory before any Part 10.1 pilot project was approved by the Cabinet. 6.2.1 The Fort St. John Pilot Project Proposal In late 1999, the major forest companies in the Fort St. John TSA, including Canfor, Slocan, LP, and the SBFEP (now BCTS) took the opportunity given by Part 10.1 to jointly submit a Part 10.1 pilot project proposal for the government’s review (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 1999).2 The project was designed to experiment with results-based forest management while maintaining the same or higher levels of environmental standards.3 The proposed Fort St. John Pilot Project was based on three main propositions: 1) the government review and approval mechanisms could be reduced without jeopardizing environmental performance in BC forests; (2) the pilot project would result in reduced costs for the participants and the government; and (3) the pilot project would lead to outcomes that could be demonstrated to the public in a quantifiable way.4 6.2.2 The Participants At the time of the Fort St. John Pilot Project submission, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (Canfor) was the major forest company harvesting conifers in the region. The company operated two sawmilling facilities in the Fort St. John TSA and acquired a majority of the TSA’s coniferous AAC. Slocan Forest Products Ltd. (Slocan) held a Pulpwood Agreement (PA 12)5 over a large portion of the Fort St. John TSA. In late 1998, 2 The self-financing Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP) was introduced by BC government in the late 1980s to encourage small operators to enter the forest sector (through timber sales and specialty wood products development) for diversification and local employment. The volume of timber available for competition was doubled to give small business operators more opportunities. The timber volume made available to SBFEP came from a 5% reduction in the AAC of the major licensees. (BC Forest Resources Commission, 1991, Appendix 3, p. 13) 3 The Fort St. John Pilot Project website http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofrefSTAC.html, accessed September 12, 2007 4 Fort St. John Pilot Project – An Experiment in Performance Based Forest Management , p. 4 5 500,000 m3 (about 55% of the TSA’s) deciduous AAC 100 the firm fully acquired the pulp mill of Fibreco Export Inc. (Fibreco) in Taylor. Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (LP) held a Pulpwood Agreement (PA 13) and a portion of the AAC was coming from the Fort St. John TSA. Additionally, many registrants in the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP, now BC Timber Sales, BCTS) also logged in the TSA. In 2000, Slocan and LP formed a joint venture company, Slocan-LP OSB Corp., and proposed to process deciduous wood (e.g. aspen and cottonwood) in the Fort St. John TSA. In April 2004, Canfor acquired Slocan, and by the end of 2005, the joint venture company Canfor-LP OSB Corp6 began its processing of deciduous trees harvested in the TSA. 6.2.3 The Public Advisory Group (PAG) Beginning in 2001, the pilot project participants established a Public Advisory Group (PAG), which was comprised of representatives from important local interests7 with the exception of the Treaty No. 8 First Nations. 8 The participants recruited, appointed, and/or replaced the PAG representatives, alternates, advisors, and facilitators. These PAG members provided input during the three phases of the pilot project process: 1) the drafting of the project proposal and the pilot project regulation, 2) the preparation of the Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP), and 3) the ongoing maintenance and monitoring phase. A Terms of Reference (TOR) guided the PAG process with rules and responsibilities.9 6 Originally Slocan-LP OSB Corp. later became Canfor-LP OSB Corp. after Canfor’s purchase of Slocan 7 The local interests represented in the Fort St. John PAG included: commercial recreation, environment/conservation, forest contractors and workers, oil and gas industry, fishing and hunting, non- consumptive recreation, range, agriculture, private woodlots, rural communities, trapping, and urban communities. See the meeting minutes of the PAG, available at the Fort St. John Pilot Project website http://fsjpilotproject.com/pubadvise.html 8 In Treaty No. 8 First Nations’ opinion, unlike other local interest groups or stakeholders, Treaty No. 8 First Nations have constitutionally protected right throughout the territory, there needs to be a separate venue for dealing with those rights and writing that into resource management planning. (Personal communication with a First Nations’ representative) 9 The responsibilities given to the PAG include: (1) reviewing the proposed detailed project proposal and draft regulation, (2) reviewing comments from the general public, (3) providing advice to government on the suitability of the project, (4) suggesting to the participants on values, objectives, indicators and targets to be considered in the development of a sustainable forest management plan for the pilot project area, and (5) reviewing audits reports and annual reports. The PAG is also to meet the needs of the SFM certification process and to provide input and help ensure that the participants’ forest management decisions are made as a result of informed, inclusive, and fair consultation with local people who are directly affected by or have an interest in sustainable forest management. See Terms of Reference, Public Advisory Group, Fort St. John Results Based Pilot Project, revised and approved as of October, 2004, for details, available at http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofref.html, accessed September 11, 2007 101 6.2.4 The Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) In addition to the PAG, the pilot project participants established a Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to provide strategic and technical guidance for the development of the Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP, see below). The STAC was a team of respected professionals who brought a diverse set of knowledge concerning the sustainable forest management. In addition to the STAC members, other specialists were invited to review the input from the PAG and make recommendations to the participants on operational strategies, methods, training, or other considerations.10 6.2.5 The Approval of the Pilot Project and its Regulation The Fort St John Pilot Project Regulation (the pilot project regulation) became effective on December 1, 2001 and was implemented as experimentation for an improved forest practices regulatory framework. The pilot project area covered the Fort St. John TSA, which was essentially the Crown land within the Fort St. John Forest District. The Fort St. John TSA also served as a Defined Forest Area (DFA) specified under the CSA Sustainable Forest Management (CSA SFM) certification standards. 6.2.6 The Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) Following the approval of the pilot project regulation, both the PAG and the STAC provided input on values, goals, objectives, indicators, and strategies for the SFMP in the pilot project area. The SFMP was a common forest management plan that replaced the participants’ individual Forest Development Plans and contained landscape level strategies. In addition, the values, objectives and indicators that guided the forest planning and operations of the pilot project were also compiled in the SFMP as an SFM Matrix. In October 2003, the participants achieved a SFMP to the CSA standard for the pilot project area and obtained a registration under the standards of CSA CAN/CSA Z809-02 SFM for their operations in the Defined Forest Area (DFA), the Fort St. John TSA.11 In April 2004, their SFMP was approved by the Regional Manager of the BC’s Ministry of Forests and the Regional Director of the BC’s Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection. 10 The Fort St. John Pilot Project website, http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofrefSTAC.html, accessed September 12, 2007 11 Ibid. 102 6.2.7 The Forest Operations Schedule (FOS), Exemption, and Data Management The participants also prepared a single consolidated Forest Operations Schedule (FOS), which did not require approval of the government but demonstrated the locations of timber harvesting and road related activities for public information. Other major initiatives of the Fort St. John Pilot Project included the elimination of government approval requirements for all site level operational plans, 12 and a data management system which reported on resource inventory, operational planning, and performance information.13 6.2.8 Summary The Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP) involved major forest tenure holders in the Fort St. John TSA and the approval of a Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP). The project provided the participants regulatory flexibility through the exemptions from parts of the Code’s provisions, and the opportunity to test out landscape level strategies via the approval of the SFMP. Ongoing public involvement and forest certification were the two project elements designed to maintain or improve social and environmental performances.14 Regular and independent audits were put in place to evaluate the project’s conformity to the pilot project regulation and certification standards. Briefly, the Fort St. John Pilot Project (FSJPP) exemplified a departure from the then existing forest practices policy framework. More detailed documentation of the pilot project’s policy process, policy content, and policy change is provided next. 6.3 The Policy Process of the Fort St. John Pilot Project 6.3.1 Agenda Setting In the late 90’s, Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), the major coniferous forest licence holder in the Fort St. John TSA, was searching for a more cost-effective way to fulfill the reforestation obligations.15 About the same time, the company anticipated that the imminent arrival of a newly formed joint-venture company, the Slocan-LP OSB Corp., which was to harvest and process the deciduous AAC in the TSA, 12 The Code’s site level plans included, for example, silviculture prescriptions, road design and construction surveys, road deactivation and stand management prescriptions. 13 The Fort St. John Pilot Project website, http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/execsumm.html 14 Ibid. 15 In BC since 1987, major coniferous tenure holders were required to meet the terms of reforestation in accordance with a set of stand level regeneration standards. In simple term, the reforestation obligation required each and every hectare that was harvested be reforested with conifers to exceed a mandatory density. (BC Ministry of Forests Annual Reports and personal communication with an industry silviculturalist formerly involved in the Fort St. John Pilot Project) 103 could influence the forest management regime in the TSA. Specifically, the arrival of the joint venture not only potentially opened a new land base, the deciduous and mixedwood forest areas in particular, but also added new players to the territory where the existing resource tenure holders already operated. 16 Meanwhile, Canfor’s CEO David Emerson announced that the company would focus on a results-based forest management, in a way that highlighted ecosystem management, managed for longer term, and adapted to local and dynamic conditions. As stated in the company’s new strategic guidelines, which were entitled “Canfor’s Forest Principles” (June 1999), the new principles wished to reduce costs, improve public trust, and give their foresters the freedom to apply skills and knowledge to achieve management objectives. Also, cognizant of the paramount importance of public acceptance, Emerson wanted to commit the company to forest certification, hoping to retain and increase the company’s market share.17 Subsequently, leaders of forest companies, Canfor, Slocan, and LP, in the area communicated among themselves and with the SBFEP on how to cooperatively harvest tree species, which grew on the same timber harvest land base (THLB) and met the distinct need of each company’s mill. With a goal to reduce transaction costs and prevent future conflicts, they contemplated on how best to manage for various resource values under the overlapping tenure circumstance.18 It appeared that these company leaders found coordinating at the entire land base level beneficial. The local social-economic atmosphere seemed to favour resource sectors and such industrial coordination, and the prevailing public opinion at the time was ‘What’s good for business is good for the community.’19 Workers, the majority of the public, and community leaders supported resource development in the Fort St. John area, likely due to the fact that a significant portion of employment and government revenue in the area came from the area’s big three industries – agriculture, forest, and oil and gas.20 When Part 10.1 was enacted as a new government policy, forest companies in the Fort St. John TSA seized the opportunity to put forward a pilot project proposal for working together and managing forests under a 16 Stands that were not predominantly (>80%) conifer or predominantly deciduous were considered mixedwood in TSR2 analysis. Coniferous mixedwood stands would have at least a 20% aspen content, whereas deciduous mixedwood stands would have at least a 20% of conifer content. (Pedersen 2003, 15) Within the Fort St John TSA timber harvest land base, there were 195,650 hectares (18.5%) of coniferous mixed-wood stands and 144,100 hectares (13.6%) of deciduous mixed-wood stands (Pedersen 2003, 15) 17 Personal communication with an industry representative who was involved in the Fort St John Pilot Project 18 Personal communications with industry representatives who were participating in the Fort St. John Pilot Project 19 Personal communication with a member of the Public Advisory Group of the Fort St. John Pilot Project 20 Community leaders viewed the establishment of an OSB plant as creating a whole new business environment on the land base (personal communication with an informant); also during a Forest Policy Review Workshop in 1999, Steve Thorlakson, the then-Mayor of Fort St. John and Chair of the Communities and Resources Committee of the Union of BC Municipalities showed his support to forest policy reform and looked forward to long-term forestry solution. 104 results-based regulatory framework. Specifically, these forest companies wanted to attain the latitude provided by Part 10.1 and operate collectively on their common land base, so that the costs could be reduced and the timber supply for their mills could be maintained. The sympathetic local communities and government officials in the area supported the pilot project adventure.21 6.3.2 Policy Formulation Foreseeing the benefit of having the flexibility to achieve objectives, a team of well-connected and experienced forest managers discussed the possibility for the companies to work cooperatively under a Part 10.1 pilot project. They deliberated on a results-based regulatory model that they believed will be socially acceptable, environmentally sensitive, and economically aware.22 Subsequently, each company identified a benefit in joining the endeavor and coalesced into a pilot project group (one informant called it a “Shadow Timber Company”), and jointly submitted a Part 10.1 pilot project proposal. In their proposal, the participants made reference to the 1999 Canfor’s Forestry Principles and the 1995 FSSC Task Force report (BC Ministry of Forests, 1995), and suggested a management model that emulated the features of forest management that were identified in the FSSC Task Force report (Canadian Forest Products Ltd., 1999, 5-6). In addition, the participants relied on a collection of information and working archetypes accumulated through their previous efforts in various forest management programs across BC, as follows:23 (1) the Arrow IFPA,24 the Babine EFMPP,25 and the Vanderhoof IFPA,26 (2) a network model of expert community developed in Canfor’s TFL 48, (3) a sustainable forest management framework that Canfor had been using to work with the local public advisory groups in other area,27 (4) the know-how of Slocan and LP on deciduous and mixedwood harvesting and processing, and (5) the experience with the LRMP processes and the Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan. 21 Personal communications with two members of the Fort St. John Pilot Project Public Advisory Group 22 Personal communications with three industry managers who were involved in the formulation of the Fort St. John Pilot Project 23 Personal communications with two informants from the Fort St. John Pilot Project participating companies who were involved in the early stage of the project, and with two members of the Fort St. John Pilot Project Public Advisory Group 24 Slocan was a partner of the Arrow IFPA, see Breakthrough Forest Solutions Inc. 2006, 20-1. 25 The Babine EFMPP was later converted into an IFPA and joined the Morice & Lakes IFPA. Personal communication with an industry consultant who was involved the EFMPP. 26 Canfor was a partner of the Morice & Lake IFPA and the Vanderhoof IFPA, see Breakthrough Forest Solutions Inc. 2006, 21-2. 27 The framework was influenced by a research project on how to conduct public opinion survey, later developed as the framework for Canfor’s CSA-SFM certification of its TFL 48 (Chetwynd, BC) and Grande Prairie (Alberta) - personal communication with an industry representative. 105 This pool of experience and knowledge helped support the development of the Fort St. John Pilot Project, including its regulation and SFMP.28 Furthermore, the concept of landscape unit planning29 and DeLong’s (2002) research information on local natural disturbance pattern30 offered a new knowledge base for the participants to embark on a flexible approach that mimicked the natural disturbance at the landscape (or multi-block) level. Moreover, the participants incorporated a new reforestation performance survey system (also known as multi-block approach)31 into their SFMP to reduce cost and liability and to more efficiently protect other resource values. Also, in order to proceed with harvesting in the mixedwood area, the participants submitted a Mixedwood Management Strategy and a Stocking Guidelines for Mixedwoods in the BWBS32 for the regeneration of mixedwoods. Despite the fact that by the late 90’s ‘un-mixing’ the boreal mixedwoods was not considered ecologically desirable or biologically viable in some experts’ viewpoint,33 the participants decided to follow the “un-mixing” approach in the short term. The goals and objectives of the Fort St. John LRMP and those specified for the MKMA were also incorporated into the proposed SFMP to meet the requirement of being consistent with the higher level plans. Also, with a desire for a CSA SFM certification, the participants integrated the CSA SFM Elements into the SFMP as well. The Fort St. John Pilot Project participants used the 6 Canadian Council of Forest Ministers SFM Criteria and 17 CSA SFM Elements from the Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management Standard CAN/CSA-Z809-02 and input from a Public Advisory Group to set values, objectives, indicators, and targets in the development of the SFMP (Canfor 2004, 61; also see Section 28 Personal communications with three industry representatives, one industry consultant, two university experts, and an informant formerly involved in the early stage of the Fort St. John Pilot Project 29 This policy concept came about at the time when the Part 10.1 legislation was to be implemented. The concept was designed to expand the scope of species protection and old growth management areas (OGMAs), and to emphasize the importance of seral stage and patch size distributions. Following the release of the Identified Wildlife Management Strategy in February 1999, the Forest Practices Code’s Landscape Unit Planning Guide was made available on March 25, 1999. As a coarse filter mechanism for conserving habitat for wildlife tree dependent species, the Landscape Unit Planning Guide [and Wildlife Tree Policy] provided directions and advices on the amount of old-growth and the number of wildlife trees to conserve within the province's various forested ecological zones. 30 DeLong’s (2002) work contained guidance on management of old forest, young natural forest, patch size distribution, and stand species and structure over time for the region. 31 The new silviculture survey approach was developed by the Ministry of Forests and J.S. Thrower for TFL 49 (Riverside Forest Products). For details of the new approach, see J.S. Thrower & Associates Ltd. (2002), Martin, Browne-Clayton, and McWilliams (2002), and Martin, Browne-Clayton, and Taylor (2003; 2004). 32 In a mixedwood expert’s opinion, the mixedwood strategy and stocking guideline designated the mixedwood harvesting land base into categories (e.g., deciduous, deciduous mixedwood, coniferous mixedwood, conifer forest types), then applied the free-to-grow standards, unmixed the mixedwoods and led to spruce aspen partite. (Personal communication) 33 See Hobson and Bayne 2000, Grover and Greenway 1999, and Harper and Kabzems 2003. 106 126.96.36.199 below for a list of CCFM criteria and the CSA SFM Elements). In their view, integrating the CSA- SFM standards into a Part 10.1 pilot project was plausible because both Part 10.1 and CSA certification emphasized public involvement, regular monitoring, and evaluation.34 And, in the face of uncertainty, the participants featured the concept of adaptive management in their pilot project to ensure that the new system could simultaneously help decision making and improve management. The reiterated decision making process was to allow periodic adjustments so that the participants could propose necessary changes to the existing applicable performance standards. Lastly, the participants made use of the idea of professional reliance, professional accountability, and third party audits to support their planning and compliance with the SFMP, Forest Operations Schedule (FOS), and other site level plans. To sum up, soon after their choice to jointly submit a Part 10.1 pilot project, the Fort St. John Pilot Project participants turned to a wide range of developed or emerging ideas to configure a proposal that was compatible with their interests and/or understandings in forest management. The main interests involved were the desire for forest certification and reduction in reforestation cost and liability, and an interest in a flexible and adaptive regulatory framework that provided latitude at cutblock level and allowed periodic adjustment. Key understandings that they drew upon included the new multi-block silviculture survey approach (developed in 2002-3 by the Ministry of Forests and J.S. Thrower for TFL 49 - Riverside Forest Products) and the local natural disturbance information made available by Delong (2002). The participants also subscribed to an array of new concepts to substantiate their application for the latitude provided under Part 10.1. Examples of these renewed cognitive sources that the participants consulted include the 1995 FSSC Task Force report, the 1996 BC Professional Accountability Task Force Report, the 1997 Fort St. John LRMP, the 1997 criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management released by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM), and the 1999 BC Landscape Unit Planning Guide. From 1999 to 2004, the Fort St. John Pilot Project participants amalgamated the above mentioned interests, ideas, and information, tailored a working structure for the project, and submitted a project proposal, a draft regulation, a SFMP, and a FOS, for public review and comment. 6.3.3 Decision Making In December 1999, a detailed pilot project proposal of the Fort St. John Pilot Project was submitted to the government by the project participants. Upon obtaining preliminary approval from the government, the participants formed a local Public Advisory Group. Representing wide-ranging local interests, the PAG was designed to fulfill a major legislature requirement: providing the public the opportunity to review and comment on the pilot project. 34 Personal communication with a representative of Canfor 107 The PAG reviewed the detailed project proposal, the draft pilot project regulation, and the input from the general public. When a perceived or real conflict existed in the PAG process, the PAG members and the pilot project participants jointly decided on actions to be taken. The representatives, alternates,35 observers, advisors, and facilitator each played a role in the PAG as specified in its terms of reference (TOR).36 The facilitator ensured that all took part according to the TOR. Also pertinent to the TOR was a provision requiring the PAG representatives (or alternates) reaching a ‘consensus’ on recommendations. The ‘consensus’ was defined by the TOR as no representative had substantial disagreement on an issue and they would be willing to move forward. However, the TOR also allowed the ‘consensus’ to mean an agreement on a summary of the different perspectives concerning an issue. Disputes regarding process issues were resolved by the facilitator. On technical arguments, the PAG members identified the underlying issues, worked towards a solution, or sought compromises, alternatives and clarifications. Outstanding matters, those without a consensus, were forwarded to the pilot project participants for considerations. In July 2001, the PAG accepted the detailed project proposal and the draft regulation. The pilot project proposal in its entirety, along with the supporting letter from the PAG that advised the government on the project’s public adequacy, was submitted to the provincial resource agencies for review and approval. In December 2001, the BC Cabinet approved the Fort St. John Pilot Project proposal and the regulation.37 Following the approval of the project and its regulation, from late 2001 to late 2003, the PAG reviewed and commented on the proposed SFMP, which included an array of landscape level strategies and the SFMP’s Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) matrix. The matrix contained values, objectives, indicators, and targets of the SFMP (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, Appendix 2). On the side, in October 2003, the pilot project participants achieved registration under the CSA CAN/CSA Z809-02 SFM for their operation in the Fort St. John TSA. In April 2004, the SFMP was jointly approved by the Regional Manager of the Ministry of Forests and the Regional Director of the Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection. In April, 2002, while the SFMP was in process, a wide range of experts were invited to form a Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to facilitate the development of the SFMP (and its SFM matrix) and to fulfill the CSA SFM requirement. The STAC’s terms of reference (TOR), membership, and role were defined at the STAC meeting.38 In addition to advising on the SFMP and priorities of the landscape 35 In the Fort St. John PAG meetings, each interest group was represented by a representative and an alternate; whenever the representative is not available, the alternate is expected to be present and participating in the meeting discussions. 36 Details of the Terms of Reference of the PAG are available at the Fort St. John Pilot Project website: http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofref.html 37 The Fort St. John Pilot Project website, http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofrefSTAC.html, accessed September 12, 2007 38 See the meeting minutes of the STAC, posted on The Fort St. John Pilot Project website, http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofrefSTAC.html, accessed September 12, 2007 108 level strategies, the STAC also provided input related to the SFM matrix (or the CSA matrix under the CSA SFM standard) once the public and the PAG had completed their preliminary input on values, goals, objectives, and indicators.39 6.3.4 Implementation On December 1, 2001, the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation (FSJPPR 278/2001) became effective (see Appendix F). The participants continued following the Code’s forest practices requirements until the approval of the SFMP. The Code’s Forest Development Plan (FDP)40 requirements were maintained as defaults; therefore, the obligation to describe the size, shape and location of cutblocks proposed for harvesting and the approximate location of existing and proposed roads continued (personal communication with a legal consultant involved in the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation). When the SFMP was approved, if there was an inconsistency between a landscape level strategy contained in the approved SFMP and a provision of the Code or the Code’s regulations, the landscape level strategy prevailed (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2001, 8; s. 42 (2), Division 5 of Part 3, the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation FSJPPR 278/2001). The third-party auditors, the governments, and the Forest Practices Board, periodically reviewed and audited the progress and outcomes concerning the implementation of the SFMP and site level plans under the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation (FSJPPR 278/2001). Based on these periodical reviews and audits, the participants and the PAG members revised and updated the relevant documents to improve management accordingly. Opportunities were also provided for First Nations to review and comment through the JMAC meetings with the MOA First Nations (see Chapter Five).41 39 See the Fort St. John Pilot Project website, the STAC page: http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/stac.html, accessed on July 11, 2006, August 31, 2007 40 In Prince George Forest Region the FDP had been the primary consultation documents; site level plans, such as silviculture prescriptions rarely formed part of a consultation package, though from time to time First Nations requested additional information relating to a specific site, or requested additional input into a site level plan. See Canadian Forest Products Ltd., 2001, p.13 41 To the date of writing this dissertation, other than the JMAC meetings, there was no other formal process that dealt specifically with the First Nations’ consultations on the pilot project (personal communications with a First Nations’ representative and an informant from Canfor) 109 6.4 Policy Content 6.4.1 Company-Sponsored PAG as a Domain for Public Involvement As reviewed in Chapter Four, public review and comment was one of the prerequisites of any Part 10.1 pilot project. The Fort St. John Pilot Project participants chose to form a local public advisory group (PAG) as a standing body to provide regular input to their forest planning and operation activities.42 A wide- ranging group of local citizens sat in on the PAG meetings on a regular base and provided frequent input. Those meetings continuously provided the project managers and policymakers with public comments and advice on local issues such as biodiversity conservation, recreational activities, and cumulative impacts. The project’s PAG was a privatized mode of public processes43 in the sense that the private sector with responsibilities for forest management on public land sponsored the local public advisory group and ran the public discussions. This mode of public process was unique because traditionally the government took the role of organizing the public processes. The decision to adopt this private-sector sponsorship reflected the participants’ keenness to comply with the forest certification, 44 which required the control of public participation processes in the private sector.45 Though the government still controlled the overall process, the pilot project participants gained more control over the public process through the formulation of the PAG and the Terms of Reference that was pertinent to the PAG.46 42 In June 2000, an Open House in the City of Fort St. John was held to explain the objectives of the Fort St. John Pilot Project and to invite volunteers to participate in the PAG. During the Open House, the pilot project participants emphasized that all meetings of the PAG would be open to the public and a group of 12 – 15 members would be representing the local interests. In early 2001, a PAG representing wide-ranging local interests was formed; the PAG was briefed on their role of the PAG and the three policy processes that the PAG would review and comment on. The three policy processes of the Fort St. John Pilot Project were: 1) input to the pilot project proposal, 2) input to the SFMP/CSA process, and 3) the ongoing input/maintenance/monitoring. Membership confirmation and the drafting of the terms of reference (TOR) for the PAG followed soon after. See the meeting minutes of the PAG, posted on the Fort St. John Pilot Project website, http://www.fsjpilotproject.com/termsofrefSTAC.html 43 This form of public participation has been a trend in Canada as a key component of environment governance. See Parkins (2006) for the emergence of a de-centered and privatized mode of governance in the Canadian Forest Sector. 44 Forest certification is generally characterized as a non-state market-driven governance system, see Cashore 2002. 45 See, for example, the Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management Certification 46 Some (e.g. McCloskey 1996; Hibbard and Madsen 2003) had commented that with this privatized mode of public process, though members of the PAG could influence decision-making processes, the final decisions remained in the hands of the industry. But, in Parkins’ (2006) view, ‘a shift to local governance structures offer[ed] distinct advantages for state and corporate actors by providing a solution to some very real and practical challenges within contemporary society’ (184). Parkins (2006) also considered that this shift “create[ed] new institutional arrangements that [could] incorporate a much larger, and often contested, array of public values into decision- making processes,’ and ‘provide[d] for an extension of scientific peer review to a select group of lay people” (185). 110 In addition to participating in the PAG, the general public could review and comment on the SFMP and the Forest Operations Schedule (FOS). The FOS maps included information on cutblocks, road construction, road deactivation, and stand tending activities. It is worth noting that, although the PAG represented local interests, First Nations did not participate in the PAG process. In Treaty No. 8 First Nations’ opinion, there needs to be a separate venue for dealing with their rights and writing that into resource management planning (personal communication with a First Nations’ representative).47 Subsequently, the quarterly meetings with the MOA First Nations became the mere possibility to communicate with First Nations on the pilot project’s information and progress (personal communication with a representative of First Nations and a representative from Canfor). 6.4.2 Forest Planning There are three layers of planning under the Fort St. John Pilot Project framework. The Forest Development Plan (FDP) remained in effect until the approval of the Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP). Once the SFMP was approved, the participants would not be required to prepare their FDPs, but needed to jointly submit to the government’s district manager a Forest Operations Schedule (FOS) that identified the proposed areas of timber harvesting and road construction. The SFMP enabled landscape level strategies to be implemented as they were developed, and specified values, objectives, indicators, and targets of forest management in the pilot project area. A site level plan could be developed without government oversight, but all plans under the Fort St. John Pilot Project had to be consistent with the FDP or, if there was no FDP in effect for the area, the SFMP and the FOS. 188.8.131.52 The Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) The Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) for the Fort St. John Pilot Project was prepared according to the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation (FSJPPR 278/2001) and the Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management Standard CAN/CSA-Z809-02 (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, Preface). The SFMP was considered the strategic and landscape level plan for the Fort St. John Pilot Project area. In addition to public objectives and forest management issues, the SFMP also incorporated the participants’ broad business objectives such as ensuring continuous delivery of reasonably priced and high quality timber, minimizing costs and maximizing value, and attaining forest management certification to maintain or increase access to resources and markets. Optimizing the net value of the mixedwoods by coordinating activities wherever practical to minimize timber harvesting and access costs was another business objective specified in the FSJPP SFMP (Canadian Forest Products Ltd., 2004, 1). 47 However, the West Moberly First Nations were involved in the pilot project, as the communities had a shared forest license with Canfor in the Fort St. John TSA. See Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 1999, 10 111 Moreover, the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation (FSJPPR 278/2001) mandated consistency of the SFMP with the management objectives of the Fort St. John LRMP (FSJPPR 278/2001, Part 4, s. 35(1) (b)). The SFMP enabled landscape level strategies to be implemented as they were developed. As specified in the pilot project regulation, the SFMP had to include at least the following seven landscape level strategies (FSJPPR 278/2001, Part 4, s. 35(2)): 1) timber harvesting, 2) road access management, 3) patch size, seral stage distribution and adjacency, 4) riparian management, 5) visual quality management, 6) forest health management, and 7) range and forge management. Different from those landscape level planning processes under the Code, the SFMP brought in an array of resource-specific (rather than site-specific) landscape level strategies. These strategies focused on a systematic specification of values, objectives, indicators, and targets (instead of detail operational prescriptions) for the management of the particular forest resource that each landscape level strategy was concerned about. Other aspects of the forest resources management such as reforestation, biodiversity management, soil management, water quality management, and forest protection could also be included in the SFMP as landscape level strategies (FSJPPR 278/2001, Part 4, s. 35(3)). Altogether, the approved Fort St. John Pilot Project SFMP included the seven mandatory landscape level strategies and an optional reforestation strategy, which drew on the newly developed reforestation survey system, also known as a multi-block approach (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, 35). These landscape level strategies evolved as forest inventories or technology became updated or improved. In short, the SFMP allowed some landscape level strategies to be implemented upon its approval and more strategies to be implemented over time. During the time that it took to prepare an entire suite of strategies, the public interests and the equivalency requirements of Part 10.1 were met through the continuing use of the FDP (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2001). In the SFMP, the 81 resource management zones (RMZs) that were located within the project area were re- categorized into 11 landscape units and specified in the SFMP (Canadian Forest Products Ltd., 2004, Table 1 in pages 7 and 8). Objectives for each RMZ were related to each of the landscape units categorized in the SFMP (Schedule A of the FSJPP 278/2001; Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, Table 2 and pages 9-10). Relative management intensity levels were then assigned to each landscape unit, based on the Fort St. John LRMP objectives, the timber management strategies, and the LRMP’s biodiversity emphasis strategies (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, 8, 9, 11, 36). Accordingly, 38.6% of the project area was managed for high intensity forest management,48 47.6% for moderate intensity forest management,49 13.8% for low 48 For enhanced timber harvesting and long term timber supply 49 For maintaining timber harvesting and forest management opportunities and in some cases enhancing timber harvesting for a sustainable long term timer supply 112 intensity forest management regimes,50 and 5% as protected areas (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, 12, and Table 4 in page 13). 184.108.40.206 Site Level Planning Under the Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation (FSJPPR, 278/2001), the approval of any site level plans (e.g., silviculture prescriptions, stand management prescriptions, road layout and design, or road deactivation prescriptions) was replaced by a system of notification (FSJPPR 278/2001, s. 20). A site level plan could be developed without government oversight, but all site level plans under the Fort St. John Pilot Project had to be consistent with the FDP or, if there was no FDP in effect for the area, the SFMP and the FOS (FSJPPR 278/2001, s. 19 (1) (b); Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2001, 10). Though the site level plans could be developed without government oversight, if the government requested a participant to provide a notice of a site level plan (or amendment to a site level plan), the participant had to give such a notice to the government (FSJPPR 278/2001, s. 20(4)). In that case, the participant also had to review all written comments received from resource agencies, and make necessary revisions accordingly (FSJPPR 278/2001, s. 20(5)). Alternatively, the government could notify the participant in writing not to operate on the area under the site level plan, if the government determined that the operation described in the site level plan (or amendments to the site level plan) would not adequately manage and conserve the forest resources of the area affected by the plan (FSJPPR 278/2001, s. 20(7)). The consistency of a site level plan with the FDP, or the SFMP and the FOS, would be subject to independent audit as required by the pilot project regulation, and both the government and the Forest Practices Board could inspect such consistency (FSJPPR 278/2001, Part 5 Division 2). 6.4.3 Forest Practices Standards Forest practices under the Fort St. John Pilot Project were authorized through the FDP in effect, or, if there was no FDP in effect, the SFMP (and the accompanying landscape level strategies) in effect and the FOS that applied to the area (FSJPPR 278/2001, S. 19 (1) (b); Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2001, 10). The following sections provide a précis of the regulatory requirements concerning key environmental aspects. 220.127.116.11 Riparian Protection The Fort St. John Pilot Project Regulation (FSJPPR 278/2001) required that every participant had to ensure that the map and information of riparian classification for specific water bodies and the general objectives for riparian management zones were included in a FDP, so that a silviculture prescription could be prepared 50 For enhancing and protecting other resource values 113 accordingly (FSJPPR 278/2001, s. 67 (1) (e) (xii), 67 (1) (v)). The riparian class of streams, wetlands and lakes had to be described for a proposed ‘Category A’ cutblock in the FDP.51 Standards for riparian classes of streams, and minimum widths of riparian reserve zones and riparian management zones specified under the regulation were essentially the same as those specified under the Code. The Riparian Management Strategies included in the SFMP addressed riparian objectives identified in the Fort St. John LRMP. These riparian strategies contained major river corridor considerations and maintained non-timber resource values, while still capturing the high timber values (Canadian Forest Products Ltd. 2004, 46, s. 4.4).52 While addressing the protection of streambanks and stream channel stability, the strategies upheld the Code’s target of meeting or exceeding the minimum widths of riparian reserve zone for fish
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Forest policy in northeast British Columbia from the 1990s to the early 2000s : comparing approaches… Chang, Sharon 2009
Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.
- 24-ubc_2009_fall_chang_sharon.pdf [ 1.55MB ]
- JSON: 24-1.0067920.json
- JSON-LD: 24-1.0067920-ld.json
- RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0067920-rdf.xml
- RDF/JSON: 24-1.0067920-rdf.json
- Turtle: 24-1.0067920-turtle.txt
- N-Triples: 24-1.0067920-rdf-ntriples.txt
- Original Record: 24-1.0067920-source.json
- Full Text