BC's Declining Investment in Renewable Resource Management


A Message from Natural Resource Management professionals on BC's declining investment in renewable resource management.

The complexity of forest management has increased exponentially since the mid 1980s. 

Factors such as First Nations management, population increase, climate change, the management of species at risk, and the cumulative effects of all land-based activities continue to add significantly to the complexity of renewable resource management in BC. In order to address this increasing complexity, managers need funding and trained specialists to gather and analyze information that will lead to sound, well informed, and credible decisions.

However the long-term downward trends in provincial funding of the management of forests, fish, wildlife, and parks in BC (50% decline) indicates that a low priority has been assigned by government to the renewable resource agencies.

Concurrent with the reduction in funding, there has been a decline in the number of registered professional foresters and biologists in government and industry.

Based on current hiring policies this decline will likely continue leading to problems since the current results-based model of forest resource management depends heavily on the judgment of these professionals.

Two examples of the serious consequences of the province’s limited investment in renewable resource management are: Problems with fish passage at stream crossings on forest roads; and Conservation of ecological integrity in BC parks and protected areas.

There are many other examples.

We are also concerned about the ability of government and BC’s citizens to determine if government’s sustainability objectives are being achieved. One impact of declining funding and professional staff is a reduction in the compliance and enforcement functions in the forest and environment ministries, and in monitoring and effectiveness evaluations. In addition the current lack of up-to-date inventories for forest, wildlife, and fisheries resources leads to increasing difficulty in developing effective management plans.

For more details, please see:

Trends in Renewable Resource Management in BC
Ralph Archibald, Don Eastman, Rick Ellis, and Brian Nyberg
February 2012

Did you know budgets for renewable resource management declined by 50% between 1997-2010? 

Read the paper: