looking for ideas

Larry Stamm larryst at vis.bc.ca
Fri Jan 2 11:23:20 EST 1998

On 30 Dec 1997 22:08:58 GMT, jkrist at aol.com (Jkrist) wrote:

>I am an editorial writer and opinion-page columnist for a 100,000-circulation
>daily newspaper in Southern California. I have been awarded a fellowship by the
>Society of Professional Journalists to research non-confrontational resolutions
>of environmental conflicts, and I am inviting suggestions from members of this
>The subjects I am interested in are preservation of biodiversity, including
>recovery of endangered species; resource extraction, including logging, mining,
>grazing and water diversion; and rural land use patterns. I am particularly
>seeking approaches that rely on collaboration or market-based forces to produce
>outcomes that are economically desirable and biologically sound. These may
>include such things as adoption of sustainable rangeland or forestry
>techniques, development of voluntary habitat conservation plans, and use of
>conservation easements or land trusts to prevent urban sprawl and habitat
>If you know of a specific example of such techniques being used to resolve a
>potential conflict over natural resources or land use, I would appreciate
>hearing from you. Please include a brief description of the program, along with
>the name and phone number or address of a contact person if possible. Please
>reply directly to me by e-mail at: JKrist at aol.com.

The province of BC has instituted a policy to develop Local Resource Management
Plans by a consensus method involving government, industry, Natives, and any
citizen stakeholder groups that care to be involved.  These plans typically
cover a single Forest District, an area on the order of several million
hectares.  All Crown land and any private forest land being managed under the
provincial Woodlot program is affected; this covers about 95% of the province.

All the concerns you mentioned are typically covered in a LRMP, with the
exception of urban sprawl, which is already regulated by zoning under regional

The process involved the formation of a "Round Table Working Group" for each
area, with sitting representatives from the Ministries of Forests; Environment,
Lands, and Parks; regional and municipal governments; Native bands having
reserves or aboriginal claims in the area; logging and mining interests;
trappers; ranchers; and various interest sectors such as recreation, tourism,
environment,etc.  All the members of this Round Table group meet for typically
10 to 20 hours per month to hash out mutually acceptable land management plans
for the District, and continue meeting until they reach a comprehensive solution
or decide that they are unable to reach consensus.  More meetings are required
within each sector for the representatives to report on the doings of the Round
Table and to develop sector plans to put forward to future Round Table meetings.
This process has typically taken several years to finish in each District, so it
requires a major (volunteered)  committment of time and effort from the

The province provided training to participants in conflict resolution, and
usually provided a facilitator to chair meetings and keep them on course and

Some areas have had remarkable success in reaching consensus, with all
participants feeling like they emerge with a management plan that they can live
with.  Other areas have not been so successful.  Locally in the Robson Valley,
the provincial government stepped in and dissallowed a proposed plan that would
set aside "too much" land as Provincial Parks because this area is already
well-endowed with Parks.  The end result was that consensus was reached on only
some aspects, and several options for timber extractions were sent to the
provincial cabinet to decide among.

None of the various plans accepted have really been implemented yet, and the
Round Table process is still in progress in some areas, so it remains to be seen
just how successful this initiative will be.  Almost everybody is tired of the
endless ad hoc confrontations and conflicts, and this weariness has helped
provide the incentive to stick it out until consensus has been reached.  The
fact that most of the negotiations were done between people in small communities
who already knew each other and would have to live and work together afterwards
also helped.

I don't have the addresses of anybody who has detailed information on the
overall process in the whole province, but you should be able to contact the
provincial Ministry of Forests in Victoria, BC, with an inquiry about the LRMP
process and get what you need.  If not, let me know and I will try to dig up a
concrete address for you.

Larry Stamm
PO Box 561
McBride, BC V0J 2E0

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