|For Immediate Release
April 28, 2016
|Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations|
|British Columbia protects old-growth forests in South Coast Region|
VICTORIA – The B.C. government has established 6,482 old growth management areas (OGMAs) under the Oil and Gas Activities Act, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson has announced.
The old growth management areas cover 186,198 hectares in 58 Landscape Units within the Sea to Sky Natural Resource District, the Sunshine Coast Natural Resource District and the Chilliwack Natural Resource District.
These old growth management areas were originally established under the Land Act between 2000 and 2015, in consultation with First Nations and the forest industry, to protect them from forestry activity. By also establishing them under the Oil and Gas Activities Act, these areas are protected from oil and gas activity. The boundaries of the 6,482 old growth management areas have not changed.
This move addresses a recommendation in the 2012 Forest Practices Board special investigation report on old-growth management and contributes to the regulatory alignment of resource development activities.
Creating old growth management areas helps safeguard the biological diversity of old-growth forests and meet land use objectives. These areas are also excluded from commercial timber harvesting, which helps preserve plant ecosystems, wildlife habitat and cultural values.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations worked with the Oil and Gas Commission to establish these OGMAs under the Oil and Gas Activities Act. Stakeholders in the energy industry were also notified about the proposal.
This project reflects the B.C. government’s ongoing commitment to protect old-growth forests, promote biodiversity and preserve valuable ecosystems for the enjoyment of all British Columbians.
A map of B.C.’s natural resource districts in the South Coast Natural Resource Region is available online at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/maps/regdis/nRCO.htm
Maps and legal orders related to these old growth management areas can be viewed online at: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/tasb/slrp/legal-direction/
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations