Involving Canadians in management and conservation efforts

Public and community involvement continues to play an important role in forest use and management and is key to their well-being. Over the past 30 years, changing societal expectations and values for forest resources have led to greater public involvement, legislation and policies at both the provincial and federal levels.

Each of Canada’s provinces and territories has implemented broad-scale strategic land use planning that identifies environmental, social, cultural, and economic objectives prior to development.

Forest management planning

In Canada, forest management planning is one of the primary tools used to ensure that the country’s publicly owned forests remain healthy and vibrant and are managed sustainably. Key in this approach is the forest management plan that every planner, whether government or forest company, must by law draw up and share publicly. Forest planners on public land must demonstrate through forest management plans that they have invited and addressed public views.

Integrated land-use planning

A key process that supports community-based solutions and increases public involvement in decision making is integrated land-use planning. This form of planning attempts to balance the economic, social and cultural opportunities in a forested area while maintaining forest well-being.

Within this process stakeholders and interested parties come together to discuss how the land and its resources should be used and managed while coordinating their activities in a sustainable way.

Applying integrated land-use planning will address the needs of users large and small, all while factoring in Canadian forest values and the need to maintain and enhance the health of the area’s forest and ecosystem.