British Columbia makes regulatory change allowing the removal of private land from woodlot licences
British Columbia has made an amendment to section 47.1 of their Forest Act that will allow private land to be removed from a woodlot.
All potential private land removals will be at the discretion of the minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations (or a delegate determined by the minister) following public consultation. The following requirements must also be met:
- The private land has been part of a woodlot licence for at least 10 years.
- The woodlot holder has provided notification and advertised their intent.
- The licence is in good standing with no overdue payments, no major contraventions of forestry legislation, or outstanding obligations.
- Access to Crown land via existing roads on the private land has been adequately addressed.
- Private land removed from an existing woodlot can’t be used by the owners to apply on new woodlot licence opportunities.
The policy change was requested by the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities was consulted, and helped develop the guidelines for a private land deletion.
Most, but not all, woodlot licences include private land. Some licensees have expressed a desire to diversify their operations and pursue other economic opportunities with their private land such as agriculture and ranching. Others have indicated they want to sell their private land for financial reasons such as retirement planning.
The amount of private land in an individual woodlot varies, ranging from zero hectares up to 1,400 hectares. The average area of private land per individual woodlot is 108 hectares.
Source: Policy change opens up options for woodlot licensees (Government of British Columbia)