The Managed Forest Council adopted amendments to the Private Managed Forest Land Council Regulation (Council Regulation) that will take effect July 1, 2019.  The amendments represent a comprehensive multi-year review of the Council Regulation and its effectiveness in meeting the objectives set out in the Private Managed Forest Land Act.  The review included a survey of owners and water licencees to assist and inform Council in their assessment of the regulation’s effectiveness in protecting drinking water.  A copy of the survey and accompanying report can be viewed here

It’s important managed forest owners, and their contractors, employees, or agents, are aware of these changes as they may affect their operational planning.  Owners with planned forest management activities must ensure their operations meet the new regulatory requirements in effect as of July 1, 2019.

Protecting Drinking Water Quality

For water licencees with a drinking water intake used for a domestic or industrial purpose, this means greater protection for water consumed by humans. This is in addition to the licensed waterworks intakes (LWIs) already protected in Council Regulation.  See the schedule of amendments link in the RESOURCES section at the bottom of this post.

For owners of private managed forest land, Council created a KMZ file that identifies points of diversion for water licence intakes that meet the new ‘drinking water intake’ definition in Council Regulation.  The KMZ file can be opened in Google Earth and is current to March 15, 2019.  See the KMZ file link under the RESOURCES section at the bottom of this post.

The KMZ file  is a subset of a regularly updated province-wide dataset (Water Rights Licences-Public) queried to include only the water licence intakes that meet the ‘drinking water intake’ definition in Council Regulation.  The complete Water Rights Licences -Public dataset can be viewed in Google Earth using the KML Network Link listed under the RESOURCES section at the bottom of this post.  Data specific to the point of diversion, including the POD number and purpose, can be viewed by clicking on an individual POD within Google Earth. This data can be used to confirm the applicability of Council Regulation around the protection of a ‘drinking water intake’ used for a domestic or industrial purpose.

Other Council Regulation Amendments Effective July 1, 2019

  1. Owners of private managed forest land are required to submit an amendment to their management commitment when a portion of the managed forest land is sold. Section 9(4)  requires owners to submit a management commitment amendment within 60 days when a portion of their managed forest is conveyed, transferred, or otherwise disposed of.
  2. Section 31 provides timelines for Restocking and Successful Regeneration. The regulation no longer provides new owners with an extended timeframe to restock or successfully regenerate land that was harvested by a previous owner.  Section 31(3) requires owners to restock harvested or disturbed areas within 5 years and to successfully regenerate those areas within 15 years of the harvest or disturbance.

For example:  the purchaser of managed forest land harvested 2 years before it was purchased will be required to have the harvested area restocked within 3 years if the land remains in the managed forest program.   Section 31(4) of Council Regulation has been repealed.

 

 RESOURCES

 Schedule of amendments to the Council Regulation: see amendment schedule here

 KMZ file (current to March 20, 2019) includes water licence points of diversion subject to Council Regulation: access file here

BC Data Catalogue Water Rights Licences KML network link to view all water rights licence data administrated under the Water Sustainability Act: access file here