Honourable Katrine Conroy, MLA Minister of Forests, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Request for Involvement from Registered Professionals, Academics and Subject Matter Experts in Forest Policy Change Including the Implementation of A New Future for Old Forests in BC
Dear Minister Conroy,
We are writing to urgently request a meeting with you to discuss how a diverse broad base of registered professionals, academics, and subject matter experts can directly support your commitment to implement the 14 recommendations found in the Gorley/Merkel report ‘A New Future for Old Forests’ (the “OG Report”), as well as the forest management aspects of the BC Intentions Paper (the “Intentions Paper”).
Due to the inherent complexity of forest science, a wide range of expertise and diversity of knowledge is required to effectively achieve the goals and objectives for forest management as set by government on behalf of society.
The OG Report and Intentions Paper provide pathways for advancing the management of a broad range of real and perceived forest management challenges in our Province. These challenges range from local to global and must be addressed within the context of a changing climate.
The signatories of this letter and our many colleagues work on behalf of First Nations, the Province, forest companies, post-secondary institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Those of us who are registered professionals have the privilege to plan, practice and direct forestry in BC. The subject matter experts and academics among us are relied upon for their research and advice to inform and evolve this important work.
As emphasized in the old-growth report there is considerable confusion and public polarization regarding forestry in BC. As a group, we are committed to sound forest policy and to supporting the Province and First Nations in science-based and data driven decision-making. Many forest management challenges can be addressed through local collaborative planning processes to continually improve policy and legislation. We understand the timelines and respect the objectives the Province has for the implementation of the recommendations in the OG Report and Intentions Paper, and believe the direct involvement of a diverse, broad base of registered professionals, academics, and subject matter experts is required for effective forest policy and legislative change.
We have asked Ken Zielke RPF to be our key point of contact, on behalf of the list of signatories attached below. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to meeting with you on this important matter.
Cc: Honourable Murray Rankin, MLA, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable George Heyman, MLA, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Honourable Nathan Cullen, MLA, Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations
LIST OF SIGNATORIES:
Ken Zielke, RPF – has been involved in developing and evaluating Ecosystem Based Management practices for the past twenty years, in both consulting and executive managerial roles. Ken has over 35 years experience in forest management and recently helped the Office of the Chief Forester develop the concept for Forest Landscape Planning in BC.
Kari Stuart-Smith, PhD, RPBio – is the Senior Forest Scientist, Woodlands for Canfor. Dr. Stuart-Smith has over 25 years’ experience developing innovative, evidence-based policy, strategic plans, and operational practices to conserve biodiversity within managed forests under a sustainable forest management framework, and was appointed to BC’s first Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council in 2020.
Marina Rayner, RFT – has a background in Business and Project Management and has focused her career on working with BC Coastal Indigenous Communities. Marina is a Huu-ay-aht Citizen who has been active in the Natural Resource industry since 2009.
Dominik Roeser, PhD – is an Associate Professor and Program Director for the Forest Resources Management and Forest Operations programs at UBC. Dr. Roeser has more than 20 years of experience in forestry research and innovation and has been working on solutions that support a sustainable forest sector and the emerging bioeconomy in Canada and Europe.
Jeff Mycock, RPF – is the Chief Forester of West Fraser’s BC Operations. Jeff has been practicing forestry across a range of disciplines throughout the Interior of BC for more than 27 years. Currently, Jeff collaborates and leads several initiatives advancing sustainable resource management practices in BC.
Eleanor McWilliams, MSc RPF – is a registered Professional Forester in BC and Alberta. Eleanor is a forest biometrician with over 35 years’ experience specializing in monitoring, regeneration standards, quantitative silviculture, financial analysis, risk analysis, growth & yield, inventory and stand modelling.
Kathy Lewis, PhD, RPF – is currently the Acting Vice President of Research and Innovation at UNBC. Dr. Lewis is a Professor, Professional Forester, and former Chair of the Ecosystem Science and Management Program at UNBC. She has taught courses in forest health and disturbance ecology.
Ross Lennox, RPF – is the Vice President, Woodlands for Canfor. Ross has been a Registered Professional Forester since 2001 and has a broad background of woodlands and wood products experience over his 20+ year career. He leads Canfor’s Corporate Forestry Group, with responsibility for a wide variety of strategic woodlands priorities for the organization.
Lennard Joe, RPF – is a Registered Professional Forester, a member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation, and General Manager of Stuwix Resources Joint Venture. Lennard brings over 30 years of forestry and business experience into his current roles.
Shannon Janzen, RPF – is the Chief Forester, and V.P. of Partnerships & Sustainability at Western Forest Products. Shannon has been an RPF for over 20 years and was the recipient of the ABCFP Professional Forester of the Year award in 2008 for her work in Ecosystem Based Management.
John Innes, PhD – is an expert in forest management, including how it impacts climate change and ecosystems. In addition to authoring several books and 200 scientific papers, Dr. Innes works as UBC’s Dean of the Faculty of Forestry where he champions for Indigenous climate change mitigation practices.
Dave Gill, RPF – is currently the General Manager of Ntityix Resources LP, a Westbank First Nation-held natural resource company. Dave and his team coordinate the planning, operations, silviculture, and community and local stakeholder engagement on Westbank First Nation’s (WFN) Community Forest.
Bill Dumont RPF(ret) – is a former Chief Forester for Western Forest Products with over half a century experience managing temperate and tropical rainforests. Bill is an expert in salmon enhancement programs, forest management and conservation practices, and continues to support First Nations’ business enterprises.
John Deal, RPBio, RPF – is the Manager of Forest Stewardship and Wildlife at Western Forest Products. John has 30 years of experience managing wildlife and biodiversity, and recently developed Western’s Wildlife and Biodiversity Program focused on conserving old and mature forest structures.
Ken Day, MF RPF – is a forestry consultant and the former Manager of the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest in Williams Lake, B.C. Ken has been a Registered Professional Forester in B.C. since 1982 and now practices in silviculture, forest management and operations, with particular emphasis on the management of Dry-Belt Douglas-fir.
Stan Coleman, RPF – is a consulting forester managing the Huu-ay-aht First Nation Forest Company, supporting their Hišuk ma c̕awak Integrated Resource Management Plan and formerly the CEO for the Huu-ay-aht group of businesses. Stan has been a leader of change throughout his career managing teams to amend forest practices in the Great Bear and obtaining third party certifications of new and third party sustainable forest management standards.
Gord Chipman, RPF – is the Manager of Alkali Resource Management, and has been a Registered Professional Forester for 25 years. Gord’s specialties are Interior Dry Belt Forest management, Forest Engineering and forest management towards Secwepemc values.
Cam Brown, MF, RPF – currently manages Forsite Consulting’s Resource Management and Technology Group. Cam has worked across the Canadian forestry sector helping bridge the gap between data interpretation and sustainable forest management decision making for over 25 years.
Bruce Blackwell, MSc RPF, RPBio – is a subject matter expert in fire and fuels management and has more than 33 years of experience as a Professional Forester and Biologist. Bruce is currently responsible for the management of more than 7M hectares of terrestrial ecosystem mapping on the B.C. Coast.
Bryce Bancroft, MRM RPBio – is an expert in alternative silvicultural systems, climate-based Species selection, and the usage of computer-based tools in forecasting reforestation decisions. Bryce continues to work with clients to address fire risk on the basis of a multi-disciplinary framework in the Urban Interface.