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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2019FLNR0255-002033
Oct. 23, 2019
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government takes next step in old-growth protection

VICTORIA – As part of government’s new approach to managing old growth in British Columbia, a two-person, independent panel is engaging British Columbians to get input and hear perspectives on managing the province’s old-growth forests for ecological, economic and cultural values.

On July 17, 2019, government appointed panel members Garry Merkel and Al Gorley to lead an Old Growth Strategic Review and provide a report to Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“Old-growth forests have significant economic, social and cultural values, and we are committed to developing a new thoughtful and measured approach to managing this resource for the benefit of all British Columbians,” Donaldson said. “Merkel and Gorley will be having broad conversations with Indigenous Nations, industry, stakeholders and communities about the future of old-growth management.”

The panel was tasked with looking at old-growth management from a variety of perspectives, including employment and economic benefits, social, cultural, and environmental value and the need to address climate change.

The panel plans to visit communities in the following regions on or around the dates listed below:

  • Oct. 24-25 – south-central Vancouver Island
  • Oct. 28-31 – Skeena/Nechako
  • Nov. 7-8 – north Vancouver Island
  • Nov. 12-15 – Thompson/Shuswap
  • Nov. 18 and 21 – Vancouver
  • Dec. 2-3 – northeast B.C.
  • Dec. 4-6 – Vancouver/Sunshine Coast
  • Dec. 9 – Haida Gwaii
  • Dec. 12-13 – Vancouver/Victoria
  • Dec. 16 – Sea to Sky
  • Dec. 17-20 – Cariboo/Okanagan
  • Jan. 7-9 – Kootenays

Additionally, British Columbians will have the opportunity to express their views on old-growth forests in B.C. through the panel’s public engagement website: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth

Interested individuals are invited to complete the online questionnaire. Organizations, professionals and other interested parties may also submit written submissions online. Feedback is open until Jan. 31, 2020, at 4 p.m.

The independent panel will provide its final report to Donaldson by April 30, 2020. The report will include recommendations and a summary of what the panel heard so government can determine next steps.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 356-7506
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2019FLNR0255-002033
Oct. 23, 2019
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Old-growth forests review panel members

In summer 2019, the provincial government appointed Garry Merkel and Al Gorley to engage with Indigenous Nations, industry, stakeholders and communities on old-growth management.

Merkel is a member of the Tahltan Nation in northwest British Columbia. He is a registered professional forester with over 45 years of experience in the field, management, academic, research and community aspects of forest and land management. He has also worked in many fields, some of which include organizational development, community development, business development and management, governance, community-based land management and education.

Gorley is a professional forester with 45 years of experience in both government and consulting work. He has served as president of the Professional Foresters Association and as board chair for Northwest Community College. From 2004 to 2007, he served as president of the McGregor Model Forest and was a founding director of the Canadian Model Forest Network. He is a board member of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and is a past member of the Forest Appeals Commission and Environmental Appeals Board. He was chair of B.C.’s Forest Practices Board from 2010 to 2013.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 356-7506
 

 
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