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Tenure Reform in British Columbia? Model, Trust and Charter Forests

By William L. Wagner


By retaining 91% of the forests in public ownership, British Columbia (BC) holds one of the world\u27s highest proportion of forest land under a public-sector model for the development and management of the province\u27s increasingly valuable forest resource. Public ownership implies that critical linkages between the natural forest resource endowment, public-sector management policies and the standard of living of the people of the province are to be forged. Yet, the emerging changes in fundamental public perception of the appropriate use of forests suggests that some of these policies, especially as they relate to forest tenure, are failing to respond to the needs of people in the 21st century. Some of those linkages require retooling. Although somewhat constrained by past forest activities and policies, the provincial government possesses broad authority across the entire public and private forest system to regulate forest practices and determine rate of cut, stumpage, royalties and rents. It can change the way it does business. It can also devolve responsibility and decision-making to local institutions and create innovative ways of moving toward sustainable forestry. This paper argues that a tenure option developing in the United States - charter forests - may have application in BC and explores briefly how five types of pilots could be tested in the province

Topics: tenure reform, charter forests, state trust lands, Canadian model forest network, sustainable forest management, 300600 Forestry Sciences, 300604 Management and Environment, 300606 Agroforestry
Year: 2003
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