Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Forest Trust Assembly

If stewardship responsibilities for BC's Public forests were devolved to Local Forest Trusts, their elected boards and managers will have considerable freedom to manage the full natural capital of the forest. However, there will be need of some checks and balances as well as some collective services such as fire protection. The Local Forest Trusts will be democratic with an elected board and will be entrusted with the task of ensuring sustainability of the forest and dependent communities. Central government oversight will not be in keeping with the new devolved trusts.

Local Forest Trusts should answer to a council of their peers. A BC Forest Trust Assembly would be governed by an equal number of elected and professional delegates, probably one of each from each Local Forest Trust. The Forest Trust Assembly will do the following:
1. Audit Local Trusts
2. Provide collective services such as fire protection, insurance and extension services
3. Guidance on forest management, planning, data and support tools
4. A court of appeal for the public, boards, managers and employees and customers of Local Forest Trusts

Any new policies or requirements affecting the operation of Local Forest Trusts will require ratification by two thirds of Local Forest Trusts. The balanced relationship between Local Forest Trusts and the BC Forest Trust Assembly will reduce the likelihood of abuses both locally and centrally.

These new proposed governance arrangements for BC's public forests are democratic,and they will provide independent stewardship of the full natural capital of forest landscapes. The framework also provides open markets and open opportunities that will revitalize and diversify BC's ailing forest economy.

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