Canada (BC) and US (Tongass) Forest Policy Comparisons: Nie and Hoberg

Check out these videos from Policy Issues in the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest of North America On April 19, 2012. I thought it was extremely interesting to compare what happens in our system of court-governance compared to Canada’s and the way they work and results in neighboring and connected forests. Props to Bruce Botelho (City and Borough of Juneau) for organizing, moderating and posting such an interesting panel.

In Part 1, Nie and Hoberg compare the governance, processes and products of policy between countries.

In Part 2, Nie and Hoberg are part of a larger panel.

If you only have a small amount of time, about 16 minutes into Part 2 is a discussion of the role of litigation. About 47 minutes in is a discussion of Forest Service culture.

In response to a question, Martin suggests a land law review. I’ve got some links to the Natural Resource Law Center’s of the University of Colorado Law School’s progam, powerpoints and videos of its conference on that topic in 2010. but some appear to be broken so I’ll post those once I contact folks there and get them fixed.

They also touch upon jobs, local communities, and other topics.

One thing of interest to me (there were many) was when Hoberg said that he didn’t feel that 30% protected was “enough” because of the importance of that area. It is interesting how rainforests can be all about old growth and protection, while it is harder to make that same case in areas of frequent fires. Maybe we need two separate ways to think about conservation..clearly delineated so that rainy ideas are not projected onto non-rainy areas and vice versa. Also discussion on collaboration and comparing Alaska and other collaborative efforts, and Martin Nie gives his opinion on the new planning rule.

We hobbyist policy wonks usually don’t have funding to get out and about, and the video plus any discussion here seems like a great way to expand the mind and the dialogue with new ideas. Here is a link to the whole session program. Some of those look interesting as well, would appreciate any comments from folks who have viewed the other sessions.

I’d be interested to hear from you all anything that strikes you about these discussions, and if the contrast between US and Canadian systems provides any thoughts for you about improving our processes in the US.

1 thought on “Canada (BC) and US (Tongass) Forest Policy Comparisons: Nie and Hoberg”

  1. The Canadian provinces control their forests. Isn’t that akin to the U.S. States controlling, and owning, their forests? How, oh how, can the provinces do that without the help of their benevolent federal government? Wonder where that path divurged between the US and Canada. Were all “Commonwealth” conutries set up that way? Is it old English law?

    No litigation in Canada. Neat explanation of that phenomenon. I had heard of, but wasn’t really aware of the “Great Bear Rain forest” in B.C. But I’ll bet it has reduced B.C.’s timber harvest by a neglible amount. I don’t know. And “citizens” in Toronto or Quebec have no say in B.C.’s forest management.I guess the guy stuck in a traffic jam in Toronto must be really bummed out knowing there’s no wilderness being preserved out there.

    Something I’v always wondered, but have no time to look into, is : Doesn’t BC have a lot of grizzly bears? Many times more than we. ARe they logging in “grizzly bear habitat”? And what are the effects on the bear population.

    Martin Nie mentioned that he thought litigation was key in allowing enviros to “force industry” to the table in the Quincy Library group experiment. Last I heard, that was a disaster. Litigated to death in 2007 and 2008 (from the QLG 2012 monitoring report). Frankly, it seemed more like Sierra Pacific was doing Sen. Feinstein a favor with opening a small log mill in Quincy. I doubt SPI needs the wood, since they’re the largest private landowner in California. Sawmill closed, but now reopened. Not a very encouraging example for “industry” collaboration. Half of proposed acres treated. I don’t know. Maybe Larry could shed some light on the “success” of the QLG.


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