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Environment management of coastal forests in British Columbia : an ecolegal analysis Mackenzie, James M.

Abstract

Increasing demands for the natural resources of British Columbia coastal forests have led to conflicts between resource users. In addition recent demand for intangible "non-economic" resources, such as outdoor recreation is creating added pressure upon the wildland resource base. The British Columbia Forest Service, although restricted to some extent by a narrowly-worded "wood production" statute, has attempted to resolve forest resource conflicts by administrative action such as the development of new contract provisions and logging guidelines. These alternatives can be effectively enforced against Crown licensees due to Crown control of most timber resources, but they are largely ineffective for the regulation of private timberland operations. Although private lands are not extensive, their harvest is substantial and they comprise a significant acreage in the rich coastal forest areas. The common law offers several potential causes of action which might be employed by the Forest Service to regulate logging operations on private timberlands, particularly with respect to impact upon fishery resources in coastal forest streams. The Forest Act could also be interpreted to authorize regulation of private logging operations. Litigation, whether civil or criminal, however, is not an optimum method of environmental management. It is expensive, time-consuming, extremely technical and remedies are generally post facto in character.

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