Stewardship – A Forest Practices Board Perspective

Insuring a healthy environment for future generations requires responsible stewardship, through thoughtful resource-use practices, today.

For that reason, the B.C. Forest Practices Board (FPB) released their “Stewardship – A Forest Practices Board Perspective” in March 2016, in which they outline a series of Principles for managing   the full range of British Columbia’s resources now, and in to the future.

These principles recognize the need for an underlying planning process that is comprehensive and invites input from the public.  The document goes on to emphasize the importance of insuring that the process be transparent, and that the recommended practices are a reflection of our joint ecological, economic and social values.

Stewardship is defined by the FPB as “Ensuring responsible resource use today, while maintaining the health of the land for future generations”.  Key to this laudable initiative is that this remains a living document.  By establishing clear goals and objectives that undergo periodic review and incorporate current and reliable information, all those actively involved in resource management will have access to the same knowledge base upon which to base decisions.

Within the borders of British Columbia, one will find a very diverse collection of natural environments, ranging from our rich coastal shorelines, over the snow-peaked mountains and across the vast interior river valleys and plateaus.  This diversity of complex habitats requires a great deal of coordination between various and multiple tenure holders.  The FPB document addresses these considerations, tradeoffs, and their cumulative effects, between the competing groups, by actively encouraging participation by the general public.

This joint stewardship approach to resource management and use, demands, fundamentally, that the practices on the ground reflect and respect the joint values agreed to by all the participating groups.  Preserving a diversity of healthy and productive habitats, over time, and which respond to natural disturbances and influences, such as climate change, forms the basis for critical decisions, which impact the whole.

In an ever changing world, where the collection of high quality data is easier and more detailed than ever, their is an expectation that managers of our natural resources remain abreast of the most current research and how to incorporate that new knowledge.  The document emphasizes the importance of continuous learning by resource managers and the adoption of new information gathered, that will directly and indirectly impact the long term goals and objectives.

However, all the data collection and well intentioned managers won’t translate in to responsible stewardship, without accountability for outcomes.  Tracking decisions and monitoring operations to ensure that activities on the ground are in agreement with the stewardship plans, help to keep all involved accountable to each other.

  • Source Forest Practices Board. 2016. Board Bulletin, Volume 17 Stewardship – A Forest Practices Board Perspective. Available at : [Accessed 03/2021].