Dry Douglas Fir initiative in the Cariboo. (Image submitted)

Dry Douglas Fir initiative in the Cariboo. (Image submitted)

FOREST INK: 10 minutes well spent on important Douglas fir survey

New plan for the dry Douglas fir forests that surround our communities

Forest managers in the Cariboo are asking for your help, and it will only take 10 minutes.

They are embarking on a new plan for the dry Douglas fir forests that surround our communities, and they want your input about what they are managing for.

They have lots of issues to plan for — record high lumber prices, high demand for outdoor recreation, wildfire, ongoing climate concerns and incorporating Indigenous knowledge into forest management. It is a good time to help our forestry planners to get some public input into the management of our Douglas fir forests.

The following is from the government website regarding how the public can participate.

Dry-Belt Douglas fir forests span the southern and central parts of the Cariboo Natural Resource Region. These are the forests that surround most of our communities, from Clinton to Alexandria, and from Lone Butte to Tsi Del Del.

These forests share the hottest and driest climate we have in the Cariboo, containing the rolling country of forests, ranches, grasslands and river valleys.

How these forests are managed has everything to do with how we want to live in and relate to our environment and each other on the land.

While Dry-Belt Douglas fir forests provide many benefits to our communities, there is increasing pressure for development, recreation, and economic timber harvest. Further, these forests are experiencing increasingly frequent and damaging natural disturbance.

The Cariboo Natural Resource Region is undertaking a process to ensure the future management of these forests includes the wide range of values and interests we share as individuals and communities.

Dry-Belt Douglas fir forests have sustained people and wildlife for millennia. With colonialism came changes that restricted Indigenous burning practices, and actively suppressed wildfires. Since the early 1900s, management mostly focused on timber production and supporting the local economy.

The current conditions threaten critical values and achievement of forest management goals – meaning that management of Dry-Belt Douglas fir forests in the Cariboo Region needs to adapt.

This initiative seeks to integrate Indigenous knowledge and western science. Changing the current management of Dry-Belt Douglas fir forests starts with identifying strategic goals, values, and interests followed by the development of objectives and supporting guidelines.

Please follow the link below to take a short survey (less than 10 min.), which will help us start this process of change. This survey is an opportunity to inform the future management of the dry-belt Douglas fir forests of the Cariboo.

We are looking to capture interests, values, areas of focus, and potential solutions in regard to future management of these forests.

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Your input will also help us to develop workshops that will pursue the themes that emerge from this questionnaire. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lindsey Wood, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Cariboo Resource Region at 25-302-5791 or Lindsey.Wood@gov.bc.ca.

I found the survey very informative and was able to quickly get to the site by Googling “Douglas fir engagement.”

It can be found at the following link: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/douglas-fir-engagement/

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.


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