HFHC Initiative – Coordinator’s Update Report

HFHC Initiative – A Conversation on BC Forests: Coordinator’s Update Report
The above report highlights the first quarter of 2012 accomplishments in advancing the HFCH initiative.

HEALTHY FORESTS-HEALTHY COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE

A CONVERSATION ON BC FORESTS
Coordinator’s Update Report

May 1, 2012

ACCOMPLISHEMENTS
The following are the first quarter of 2012 accomplishments in advancing the initiative:

  • 2011 Activities Report was completed, posted on the HFHC website and distributed to key
    parties, including politicians, influencers, supporters and volunteers with an offer to meet to
    discuss the report and answer any questions. Key related actions taken were:

    • Update meetings on the report were offered to the four main political parties (BC
      Liberals, NDP, BC Conservatives, BC Green Party); to date only one accepted (i.e., NDP)
    • Executive and senior staff of both the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource
      Operations and the Ministry of Environment were updated on the 2011 Activities report
      as was the Forest Practices Board
    • Special effort was made to inform local Governments of the 2011 Activities results with
      some taking note of their applications to local conditions
    • 10 presentations were given to interested groups and offers extended to others; three
      additional presentations are scheduled for May
    • Presentations to community groups provided an opportunity to encourage communities
      to take action in getting prepared to influence forest management decisions regarding
      local forest lands; some have acted on the opportunities
    • Distribution of the 2011 Activities Report has generated several more communities
      asking for a Community Dialogue Session so their views can be considered; discussions
      with members of these occurred regarding how the fall 2012 community workshops
      may provide an opportunity to meet these needs but also build on last year’s results
    • Urban and Rural Media were informed of the 2011 Activities Report and additional
      information available upon request; some “pick-up” occurred, primarily with rural
      newspapers
  • 2012 Activities Plan was completed and used as a basis for:
    • Organizing both expert and community workshops and communication opportunities
      with communities and interested parties
    • Soliciting funding from potential partners
    • Communicating the activities and requirements for 2012 to supporters and volunteers
  • Fund Raising was aggressively undertaken with success significantly greater than experienced in
    2011, indicating growing support for HFHC. More approvals are expected as a number of
    funding organizations have approval deadlines occurring after the first quarter of 2012.
    Although more funding has been received and more expected this year than 2011, the costs of
    delivering the 2012 activities are also higher. Consequently, volunteers and in-kind
    contributions will continue to be a mainstay of the HFHC initiative and coupled with the
    available funding will allow delivery of the intent of the 2012 Activities Plan. Almost all the inkind
    contributions included in the 2012 Activities Plan have been confirmed. The remaining
    contributions are associated with the Community Workshops and have not been investigated
    yet due to HFHC priorities. However, there is optimism they will be realized. The communities
    were very supportive in 2011 and it is expected this will continue in the fall of 2012.
  • HFHC Partners have increased since 2011, now totaling 19 ranging from academic institutions,
    NGOs, foundations, a union and professional associations; more are expected as funders are
    confirmed. Some of the additions include organizations previously supportive but decided to
    become partners (e.g., Association of BC Forest Professionals, Consulting Foresters of BC, BC
    Fraser Basin Council). The CIF continues to be the primary partner, providing in-kind support
    and member volunteer assistance. In addition, there are a number of supporting organizations
    who have agreed to distribute HFHC information to their members and networks, thereby,
    greatly extending the communications opportunities.
  • 2012 Activities Plan Implementation began in earnest in February with the following priority
    actions taken:

    • Planning of Expert Workshops, intended to provided innovative and practical
      recommended actions to address the 2011 issues, with the hosts and topics confirmed
      and implementation teams being created
    • Guidelines for the delivery of the Expert Workshops have been developed to ensure the
      outcomes are consistent with the needs and issues received in 2011
    • Workshop delivery will be delayed until late June compared with the mid-May proposed
      target due to other commitments by host organizations and confirmation of funding;
      however, this will still allow consolidation of the recommendations over the summer in
      time for distribution to the fall Community Workshops
    • The TerraWeb initiative at UBC has agreed to help with the video taping of summaries
      from each of the Expert Workshops for posting on the HFHC website and providing
      another mechanism for communication of results to communities and interested parties
    • An initial enquiry with communities regarding interest in hosting a Community
      Workshop enquiry has been sent with some early commitments; Workshops are
      intended to provide community input to the Expert Workshop recommendations, in the
      fall of 2012; it is expected sufficient community sessions will be held to provide a local
      perspective on the recommendations from the Expert Workshops; further enquiries will
      be forthcoming in early summer or late spring as time permits and funding confirmed
    • Communities are beginning to action the local priorities identified in the 2011
      Community Dialogue Sessions; a section in the HFHC website has been created for them
      to share these ideas and actions with other communities
  • HFHC related issues
  • HFHC has been very active in communicating the results from the 2011 Activities as they
    relate to the Government option to log within forest reserves as an option to ameliorate
    the downfall in mid-term timber supply for the hard hit Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB)
    epidemic areas.

    • A letter to Ministers Thomson and Bell was sent communicating the
      inconsistency of this option with what communities informed decision-makers
      through the Community Dialogue Sessions and recommending either the option
      be removed or a public consultation process be established
    • The letter along with many from others and the media reports changed the
      Government position from “no process” to a commitment for a” public process”
      on the options being considered by Government; this is consistent with the
      identified community needs that more influence on forest management
      decisions are wanted by communities
    • Interviews by the Coordinator were requested regarding this issue and held to
      bring forward the community and expert views obtained during the 2011
      activities
    • A new section within the HFHC website (i.e., Dialogue) was created to post
      newspaper articles, letters and opinions on the logging of forest reserves and
      other potential issues to provide a compendium of information for interested
      parties and an option for sharing views as long as they were consistent with the
      HFHC Operating Principles
    • During the dialogue on this issue, Mayors of forest dependent communities
      within the MPB epidemic area are making comments regarding the need for
      long-term community resiliency actions compared to short-term expedient actions, thereby, reinforcing the identified wants and needs of the communities
      participating in the 2011 Community Dialogue Sessions
  • As issues related to HFHC initiative arise, a similar approach as taken regarding the
    logging in forest reserves will be implemented
    • Collaboration

    • Collaboration has continued with organizations and initiatives with a common interest in
      the future of BC forests
    • New agreements to share information have been established
    • An introductory meeting among professional organizations, extension organizations,
      university students and academics was held to investigate the interest in working
      collaboratively to deliver forestry and forest management capacity assistance to
      communities as one means to increasing local knowledge and help in delivery of one of
      the community needs issues; the attendees agreed on collaboration; more conversation
      will occur as time allows
  • Communications-Media
    • Website – Social Media
      • An update of the website was conducted to make it more appropriate for
        communicating the 2012 activities; changes will continue to occur as
        improvements are identified by the Website Team or users and contributors.
      • Facebook and twitter communications have been expanded to service the
        interested parties who prefer the social media tools
      • Unsolicited briefs on topics related to the HFHC initiative have been received
        and requested to be posted on the website; this service has been accepted,
        provided they meet the HFHC Operating Principles
      • A database of partners and interested parties is being developed for use in
        distribution of HFHC materials
    • Media
      • A media contact database has been created and continually updated for
        distribution of HFHC information
      • The media database was used to communicate the availability of the 2011
        Activities Report, press releases and other documents, such as the letter to
        Ministers Thomson and Bell regarding the issue of potential logging in forest
        reserves

If anyone has questions or comments on this update, please contact Bill Bourgeois (wwb@telus.net)
directly or through the HFHC webmail (info@bcforestconversation.com)

This entry was posted in Archived. Bookmark the permalink.