UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Integrating forestry and wildlife management through forest management planning in British Columbia Niezen, Albert H.


Since the restructuring and enactment of forestry legislation in 1979, the B.C. Ministry of Forests has placed increased emphasis on Forest Management Planning as a strategic level of planning to achieve its broadly stated goal of Integrated Resource Management (IRM). This has taken place as a result of the recognition by resource managers that the broad implications of the more localized, tactical planning are not well understood and that planning for the various forest resources needs to be done on a more comprehensive, proactive basis. The thesis examines the two fields, IRM and strategic planning, and attempts to determine how they can be linked to enable effective planning for forestry and wildlife resource management. Criteria identified as being essential for effective IRM are outlined, then applied to processes for forestry and wildlife integration through a case study approach. Three management units - two government managed Timber Supply Areas and one corporate managed Tree Farm License - within the Nelson Forest Region are examined. The Ministry of Forests has made and continues to make significant advances in facilitating integrated forestry and wildlife management through Forest Management Planning. Yet some serious weaknesses of the process hinder the delivery of integration at the field level. Foremost is the lack of an overall integration mechanism across disciplinary lines and within the existing planning hierarchy of the Ministry of Forests. The lack of Regional plans having broadly based IRM units, in addition to the lack of clearly defined policies and explicit philosophy of land use, has meant that the integration of forestry and wildlife at the Forest Management Planning level is being undertaken without the needed context. Another critical weakness is the lack of clearly defined, quantitative objectives at the Forest Management Planning level to provide guidance to resource management design. This factor, coupled with the lack of formal monitoring, has meant that the Ministry's potential for adaptive management with regard to cause and effect relationships is seriously compromised. The groundwork for effective IRM planning has been laid however. Prominent among the gains made as a result is an increased level of communication between the Ministry of Forests and Ministry of Environment on issues that transcend the sectoral boundaries. Overall the integration of forestry and wildlife management through Forest Management Planning is in a state of transition but with the existence of some significant deficiencies, the potential for effective IRM planning has not yet been met. Several recommendations to remedy existing deficiencies are offered. Most essential is the need to improve direction through clearly defined policies and objectives and to translate these into regional plans that enable the evaluation of multiple alternatives at the Forest Management Planning level. The inter-relatedness and importance of all criteria for effective IRM planning underscores the need to address all facets of the process concurrently and continuously.

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