May 30, 2011, Victoria – The British
Columbia government introduced legislature in early May 2011 that will modify a
number of provincial statutes if passed, including access to low-quality fibre
through the Forest Act. Three proposed amendments to the Forest Act will limit
transfers of receiving licences, strengthen eligibility criteria for new
woodlots, and change named decision-maker references. Bill 13, the
Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2011, was introduced by Attorney
General Barry Penner.
For additional commentary, read Gordon
Hoekstra | Prince George Citizen: B.C. Liberals introduce wood-waste rights
- The Forest Act will be amended so that a
non-lumber producer can only transfer a “receiving licence” to another non-lumber
producer. This will help support the bioenergy, pulp and paper, and value-added
industries by providing security of supply for the lower-quality fibre needed
by the non-lumber sector.
The Forest Act will be amended to make
large tenure holders ineligible to apply for or hold a woodlot licence. Woodlot
licence opportunities are intended for individuals, First Nations, and small
companies that want to participate in small-scale forestry. The amendment
will help maintain the intent of the woodlot licence program as it is expanded.
The Forest Act, Forest and Range
Practices Act, and the Ministry of Forests and Range Act will be amended so
that minister replaces decision-maker references such as regional manager or
district manager. This will enable the minister to delegate powers and duties
to officials in the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations
as needed to optimize decision making and improve efficiency.