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A study of British Columbia's tree farm licence tenure and a discussion of its applicability in Kenya Spears, John Stephen

Abstract

In Kenya, as in British Columbia, a high percentage of the forest land is owned by the Crown. Since Government controls most of the raw material for the forest industry, its timber disposal policies will have a considerable influence on the pattern of industrial development. The most suitable policy will be that which allows the maximum degree of industrial efficiency to be achieved and at the same time, adequately protects the public interest in the forest resource. The main methods of timber disposal open to the Kenya Government are: (i) To dispose of all Crown timber by public auction. (ii) To grant leases of Crown timber to private enterprise concerns, Government retaining the responsibility for forest management. (iii) To grant leases to private enterprise concerns and, in addition, to delegate to these same concerns the responsibility for forest management. Such a lease would be equivalent to British Columbia's Tree Farm Licence. (iv) To dispose of Crown timber by outright alienation. (v) To establish State manufacturing plants. It is not essential that the Government commit itself to any particular one of the above alternatives in practice, a combination of two or more may be desirable. This thesis is primarily concerned with the Tree Farm Licence method of timber disposal. The main objectives are: to study the progress of the Tree Farm Licence, to assess its advantages and disadvantages and to discuss its applicability in Kenya. The main conclusions drawn are that the Tree Farm Licence has brought several important benefits to British Columbia and in particular, has encouraged the establishment of the large integrated forest industries which play an important part in supporting the Provincial economy. The introduction of a similar licence into Kenya would be desirable, but for political reasons probably impracticable at present.

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