Environmental Deregulation, Forest and Range Practices Act
The impacts of the Forest and Range Practices Act will be:
- There will no longer be government approval of roads and cutblocks – just the general area where industry will carry out its activities. This turns back the clock to well before the current Code.
- It increases risk of harm to environmental values at the cutblock level. The location of a cutblock and how it will be logged is often very important for maintaining environmental values, but will not be reviewed by government officials.
- The main reason for this major reduction in agency oversight is staff and budget cuts – 700 Ministry of Forests staff in the coming year (>1,000 including the related agencies Water, Land and Air Protection and Sustainable Resource Management). This is in addition to the elimination of 600 Forest Service positions last year.
- These changes mean a substantial increase to industry control over what happens on public land.
We do not see corresponding accountability for this new autonomy.
November 1, 2002
West Coast Environmental Law