Message from the Chair
Thank you for visiting the Forest Practices Board web site. For over 15 years the Board has provided credible, relevant and timely information to the public about forest practices in British Columbia.
All British Columbians benefit from the jobs, products, cultural and environmental services that our forests and natural rangelands provide. In order to sustain those benefits over the long-term we need to assure ourselves, and demonstrate to the rest of the world, that our practices meet the highest standards.
The Board is uniquely positioned to provide independent advice to the government, and to industries that operate on forest and range lands. Our mandate includes audits, complaint investigations, and special projects that assess the suitability and effectiveness of forest and range practices. The Board is comprised of eight members who are appointed by the Provincial Cabinet and reflect a cross-section of backgrounds and expertise. We carry out our work through a small, but highly qualified and professional staff.
During July 2010, the Board had an independent consultant survey a broad cross-section of our stakeholders to find out how perspectives about the Board have changed since the last assessment, carried out four years ago. The time and effort contributed by the survey respondents is much appreciated, and the Board will use the survey results to help guide our future activities.
We were pleased to learn that the Board continues to enjoy a healthy level of trust from key stakeholders, and over 90 percent of the respondents reported that information received from the Board is clear and easy to understand (up from 70 percent in 2006). Perceptions about the Board’s impartiality have also improved.
Sixty percent of respondents said that there is a greater need now for an independent watchdog than there was when the Board was created (in 1995), and another 24 percent said the need has not changed. Interestingly, 88 percent said that all industries operating on the land base should be subject to the same degree of oversight.
Those surveyed also pointed out a number of opportunities for the Board to improve. Some of the key suggestions are that the Board:
- Engage in more direct communication with stakeholders;
- Provide clearer information about how projects are chosen and why certain practices are investigated;
- Demonstrate greater independence from government; and
- Pay greater attention to the full range of practices impacting the forest land base, regardless of who carries them out.
The Board will give serious consideration to these, and the many more specific suggestions we received.
I invite you to browse our website and learn more about the work of the Board. To see a list of the Boards’ current projects, please visit the “Reports in Progress” area of this website.
One of our priorities is to listen to input and concerns about our forests, as well as providing information about how well they are being managed. In that spirit, I welcome any questions, concerns or suggestions you may have.
Click here to e-mail me.
Al Gorley, Board Chair
Forest Practices Board