April 3, 2006

BC's Bill 9 amends forest-related legislation to ensure sustainable benefits

VICTORIA, BC-Amendments to British Columbia's Forest Act and other forest-related legislation are designed to ensure sustainable forest benefits and strengthen the government's ability to manage stumpage revenue. Bill 9, the Forests and Range Statutes Amendment Act, also updates the Forest and Range Practices Act to strengthen the government's ability to impose remediation orders, manage reforestation obligations for some short-term licences and enable licensees to operate under approved cutting permits after December 1, 2006. The bill creates a forest revenue audit program, enabling the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue to inspect and audit records to ensure that the correct stumpage has been collected. BC's Forest Act is amended to streamline the administration of tenures, including the forestry licence to cut, and the Wildfire Act is amended by clarifying licensees' fire control responsibilities and ensuring prompt firefighting by licensees through appropriate compensation and insurance coverage. Finally, the Ministry of Forests Act is changed to the Ministry of Forests and Range Act to reflect the importance of range management in the ministry's mandate.

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