Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities Interim Report

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A growing concern began in 2009 and continued through 2010 among professional foresters and
biologists, conservationists, academics, community leaders, forest support companies and First Nations
that British Columbia (BC) forests are in need of greater attention to meet societal expectations over the
long-term. During these conversations a number of initiatives were identified, generating the concept
of the Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities: A conversation on BC forests (HFHC) initiative. This was to
be a non-partisan, volunteer-supported initiative to catalyze dialogue with natural resource experts and
local communities (including members of the forestry profession, Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals,
community advocates, conservationists, youth and concerned citizens) to inform decision-makers about
the people’s vision for the forest lands of BC and identify areas for improving long-term sustainable
management to achieve the provincial, community and family goals of ensuring healthy forests and
healthy communities for a brighter BC future. The objectives were to raise the profile of forest
management for development of political party platforms leading up to the next provincial election and
inform decision-makers on communities’ vision for BC forest lands, including local and regional
perspectives and issues.

The process includes three components: 1) securing background information from experts in the field, 2)
holding Community Dialogue Sessions to acquire community views and suggestions, and 3) providing a
website and social media mechanisms to share information and enhance public dialogue. The dialogue
was guided by the following draft forest lands vision which could be modified at regional levels to reflect
local conditions or emphases identified through community discussions:

British Columbia’s forests are managed to:

  • ensure the health and protection of all forest values;
  • support healthy, diverse and resilient communities; and
  • support a sustainable and globally competitive forest products economy.

The Interim Report covers the key findings from the 28 Background Briefs, six (6) Community Dialogue
Sessions and other contributions by concerned citizens. A further 15 Community Dialogue Sessions are
in the planning stages for this fall and further input through the website and social media will be
included in a Final Report expected by December 31, 2011.

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