Lands And Forestry Reverses Some Changes To Harvest Plan Map Viewer

Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 16:15 PM

The Department of Lands and Forestry is backpeddling on some recent changes to the Harvest Plan Map Viewer.

The online map is used to allow public comment on proposed crown land harvests.

Recent changes saw harvests removed from the map just days after the comment period ended.

Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin, says he directed staff to put the old harvests back on after some negative public feedback.

"They do still want to have the past maps so that they have the full context of the harvest maps both past and proposed when they're making their comments," says Rankin.

The older maps should be restored on the website this week.

Some also criticized the removal of the term clearcut from the map, saying the move shows a lack of transparency by the department.

However, Rankin says the terms used on the map legend are more accurate and better align with the Forest Management Guide.

"Rather than the debate and the consternation around clearcutting and partial harvest, we are focused on exactly what the prescription is."

He says clearcut is just a layman term, mostly for overstory removal.

Rankin says a new Forest Management Guide is in the works and there will be a broader range of prescriptions for harvests.

"The argument about what fits into a clearcut, what doesn't fit in, is something that we don't want to spend resources on, we want to be focused on the paradigm of ecological forestry," says Rankin.

He says their focus is on multi-age management of the forest and the changes will promote that.

Story by Brittany Wentzell
Twitter: @BrittWentzell
Email: wentzell.brittany@radioabl.ca