Private land logging near Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Private land logging near Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson to ask province for more control over adjacent private forest lands

Resolution will go to local regional government conference this week

Nelson city council wants the provincial government to apply Crown land logging rules to private forest lands adjacent to municipalities.

And it wants the owners to report to municipalities annually on any commercial plans for the forest land.

This would apply to two categories of private forest: those under the Private Managed Forest Land Act, in which there are some minimal requirements related to riparian zones and reforestation, and private land not covered by that legislation in which there are no rules (like the Nelson Land Corporation forest near Cottonwood Lake).

This process will begin with a resolution city council will take to the annual meeting of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) in Castlegar this weekend.

The resolution reads:

WHEREAS many local governments in rural BC are surrounded by significant amounts of forested private land;

AND WHEREAS local governments are expected to manage the assets that support the value of their communities which include sight lines, municipal infrastructure, slope stability of land, and watersheds;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM call upon the Province to implement regulations and standards that are equivalent to Crown forest land regulations and standards that address forest harvesting for commercial purposes on private lands, and grant local governments the authority to require private land owners to undertake annual consultations with local governments to provide information regarding long term disposition or development intentions for land adjacent to municipal boundaries if intended for commercial purposes.

If the resolution passes at the AKBLG it will be taken to the annual conference of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) in September in Vancouver. If it passes there, the UBCM will lobby the provincial government to implement it.

The resolution passed at city council with no public discussion.