Katrine Conroy is the new Forests Minister

The MLA from Castlegar is the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD).

Minister Conroy knows first hand about the benefits of community forest.  She has 2 BCCFA member CFAs in her riding – Sifco and Nakusp, as does Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Nathan Cullen, lives in Smithers, home of the Wetzinkwa Community Forest and Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development, formerly the Chair of the Regional District in the Boundary who is one of our members seeking an invitation and he has West Boundary CF in his riding.

After yesterday’s Cabinet ceremony, we pulled out some of the details from the Mandate Letters of the new leadership in MFLNRORD. There is certainly more detail in the Mandate Letters this time, and many topics that the BCCFA will engage in. In case you haven’t had a chance to view them,  here is some of the specific detail in the Minister’s letter.

  • Support people and businesses, with a focus on rural communities, in our government’s COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • Support the Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations to create a new Ministry for Lands and Natural Resource Operations that will develop and implement land use policies that support B.C.’s goals for economic activity, environmental sustainability, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
  • Continue work to update and modernize forest policy and legislation to ensure a competitive, sustainable future for forest communities, Indigenous peoples, workers, and companies.
  • Lead the transition of our forestry sector from high-volume to high-value production, increasing the value-added initiatives of our forest economy, including by making mass timber a priority in public buildings moving forward.
  • Support the Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation to advance the mass timber action plan.
  • Working with industry and labour, dedicate a specific portion of the annual allowable cut toward higher value producers who can demonstrate their ability to create new jobs for workers in B.C.
  • Continue collaborating with the forest industry and stakeholders to implement the Interior Forest Sector Renewal process and the Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative.
  • Implement the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review in collaboration with Indigenous leaders, labour, industry, and environmental groups to protect more old growth stands – in addition to the 353,000 hectares protected in September 2020.
  • With support from the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, lead work with local governments to reduce wildfire risk and better prepare and support communities for future wildfires.
  • Plant more trees for a healthy industry and province and continue to make significant investments in forest health, wildfire protection, silviculture, and revitalizing our forests.
  • Protect and create jobs by fighting for a fair deal for B.C. wood products in softwood lumber negotiations with the United States.
  • Champion innovation in our forestry sector that aligns with CleanBC objectives and improves sector efficiency.

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