British Columbia (BC) is developing a new framework to guide silviculture investments and make the province a world leader in growing trees, provincial forests minister Pat Bell has announced.

The discussion paper, Growing Opportunities: A New Vision for Silviculture in British Columbia, outlines current silviculture successes, opportunities for improvement, principles to guide how the new vision might be implemented, and some questions to stimulate discussion on the future of silviculture in British Columbia.

“British Columbia is already a world leader in reforestation – but there is far more to silviculture than planting trees,” said Mr Bell.

“Whether it’s the growing market for carbon offsets or next generation forest products, there are significant opportunities that will drive a broader range of silviculture activities. We want to make sure British Columbia’s silviculture framework encourages new investments to maximise the economic, social, and environmental benefits from our forest lands.”

Currently, most silviculture activities in British Columbia are driven by the requirement to reforest harvested areas to a “free-growing” state. The goal is to build on this success at reforestation and expand silviculture’s focus and resulting benefits throughout the broader life cycle of forest stands.

“Our silviculture framework must continue to deliver sustainable forest management while providing the flexibility necessary to face climate change, address the timber supply impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, and produce forests that are suitable for new product and carbon sequestration opportunities,” he said.