Frequently Asked Questions about the CDFCP

Q: What is the purpose of the Coastal Douglas-fir and Associated Ecosystems Conservation Partnership (CDFCP)?

The CDFCP is intended to be a forum for communication and collaboration regarding the maintenance and restoration of healthy Coastal Douglas-fir and Associated Ecosystems (CDFAE). The CDFCP recognizes the need for shared stewardship of CDFAE and will strive to focus resources collaboratively, strategically and transparently so as not to duplicate existing conservation efforts and to maximize conservation gains.
The CDFCP will strive to strategically address ongoing threats to CDFAE conservation due to growing human populations, development, and resource use through collaborative engagement of parties with the goal of raising awareness of conservation issues and promoting conservation objectives in a respectful manner.

Q: What is a “biogeoclimatic zone”?

A biogeoclimatic (BEC) zone is the highest level of ecosystem classification used in BC. The BEC zone describes a broad geographic area that contains similar patterns of vegetation and soils that are shaped by the area’s unique geology, geography and climate.

Q: Where is the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone?

The Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone is the smallest of B.C.’s 16 major ecosystems covering about 252,000 hectares. The CDF covers part of the lower Fraser Valley (including some of Metro Vancouver), portions of the Sunshine Coast, the southeast coast of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands south of Cortes Island. The CDF generally only occurs below 150 metres in elevation.

Q: Which groups have joined the Coastal Douglas-fir and Associated Ecosystems Conservation Partnership (CDFCP) so far?

See the full list of organizations that have joined the CDFCP at the Memebership page.  Please note: a number of other “unaffiliated” individuals have also signed the SOC. We expect the number of partners to grow in the months ahead and we are encouraging other groups in the region to get involved, including applicable government agencies (federal, regional and local), land trusts, environmental stewardship organizations, resource industry professionals, First Nations, private landowners and academic institutions.

Q: What is the history of this partnership? How did it come about?

In 2007, the Forest Practices Board released a report outlining concerns over forest harvesting of endangered and threatened ecosystems in the CDF. In response to this report, the provincial government established a Coastal Douglas-fir Conservation Strategy (2008).

As part of this strategy, six workshops involving various stakeholders were held between 2010 and 2012. These meetings allowed stakeholders to share information about CDF conservation issues and discuss how to better address conservation issues with First Nations, local governments, environmental groups, resource professionals and private landowners. The Coastal Douglas-fir and Associated Ecosystems Conservation Partnership is the result of those consultations.

One of the Coastal Douglas-fir Conservation Strategy’s key components is a commitment to raise public awareness and promote improved stewardship of the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem through collaborations with private landowners, local governments and environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs).

Q: Why include the CWHxm1 in additional to the CDFmm?

One of the recommendations, from the feedback received at the workshops since 2010, was to include the Coastal Western Hemlock Eastern Very Dry Maritime (CWHxm1) variant in the discussion about CDF conservation because of the transitional area between the two biogeoclimatic units, the anticipated changes in boundaries due to the effects of climate change, and in many areas, similar levels of loss and fragmentation to that of the CDF. A key difference between the CWHxm1 and the CDF is that the CWHxm1 is much broader in range in BC and extends into the Pacific Northwest of the USA.

Q: What are some potential threats to the environment within the Coastal Douglas-fir (and Associated) Ecosystems?

Activities that are having the most impact on the region are urban growth, industrial development, transportation infrastructure, forestry, agriculture and other human activities.

Q: Will this project need additional partners to reach its goals? What happens if more groups and individuals don’t get on board?

The CDFCP is a relatively new project. An ad hoc group of potential CDFCP partners only started meeting regularly in 2011. We fully expect that other organizations with an interest in environmental stewardship in the region will step forward to participate.

Regardless of whether we have eight partners or 80 partners, this is important work that needs to be done. We are confident that interest in the partnership’s activities will grow as people learn more about its mandate and what its members hope to accomplish.

Q: What are some of the partnership’s short-term goals?

The partnership is brand-new, so its first tasks are mostly administrative in nature:

• Short term goals:
   o Complete an initial budget that will allow the partnership to: implement an interim work plan; and establish resource working groups.
   o Complete an interim work plan to guide the partnership’s activities until a full conservation plan/strategy is drafted and adopted. This interim work plan will include guidance on how the conservation partnership could communicate with potential funders, the general public, its own members and other agencies.
   o Compile information to guide the partnership’s working groups (including their responsibilities and priorities).
• Long term goals:
   o Confirm the composition and membership of the partnership’s working groups, which will report to the CDFCP steering committee. Working groups will complete specific activities laid out in subsequent plans or strategies. Proposed steering group priorities include: Restoration and Stewardship; Science/Technical; Local Government; Resource Sector; Outreach and Education; and Securement (land trusts and land acquisition).
   o Have the steering committee write a job description for the planned Conservation Partnership Coordinator position.
   o Have the steering committee complete a conservation plan strategy, which will include: a vision statement; conservation goals; assessments of environmental threats; recommendations to deal with threats; a list of agencies that could help deal with various issues; and a budget plan.
   o Have each working group create terms of reference to outline its goals, responsibilities, decision-making process and communications practices.
   o Fund and fill the Conservation Partnership Coordinator position.

Q: How much will it cost to run this partnership every year? Who’s paying for it?

The initial work of the partnership has been done primarily by volunteers from amongst its own members. Once the organizational structure is finalized, the partnership will begin fundraising efforts to sustain its activities and finance the Conservation Partnership Coordinator position (with the ongoing support of partner organizations).

Q: To what extent will this partnership be able to influence environmental policy in B.C.?

Because this partnership is composed of representatives from a broad spectrum of environmental organizations, governments and other interested parties, the partnerships’ recommendations should carry significant weight. We expect that our advice will be considered very seriously by decision-makers.

One of the advantages of this integrated and interdisciplinary approach is that members of the partnership will be working together to achieve a common goal, not just focusing on one aspect of the overall picture. We view this collaborative approach as one of the partnership’s greatest strengths.

Q: Numerous groups have attempted to address conservation issues in the CDF in the past. What do you expect this partnership to accomplish that perhaps other groups couldn’t?

This partnership brings together a broad range of stakeholders who are committed to working together to respond to existing or emerging environmental concerns in this region. Some of the initial goals of the partners are to reduce duplication of effort, pool resources and define shared priorities.

Members of the partnership are encouraged to devote their time and energy to finding creative solutions that reflect the needs and interests of all partners, not just one interest group. We anticipate that this will result in a more comprehensive and constructive approach than if each member tries to address these complex issues on its own.

Q: Getting a large number of individuals and organizations to agree on anything can be tough. Why do you think this conservation partnership will succeed?

Any organization that welcomes a diverse range of opinions and participants can expect to experience some hiccups along the way. This new partnership may have a few growing pains as well, but we’re confident that all of the members will do their utmost to co-operate, communicate and collaborate on important environmental issues.

One benefit of this new partnership is that it considers the opinions of many different stakeholders and puts its recommendations into context, so informed and balanced decisions can be made.

Q: Urbanized areas on the South Coast have been expanding rapidly for decades. Is one of the goals of this partnership to limit additional growth in some areas? If so, aren’t property developers and investors going to resist?

The conservation partnership’s main objective is to provide science-based facts and sound advice to decision-makers who then must balance legitimate environmental concerns with the aspirations of the people and communities they serve. The partnership’s role is not to impede development, but to ensure that governments at all levels are aware of relevant environmental issues so they can make responsible choices in the best interests of their communities and local ecosystems. This partnership will carefully examine environmental concerns in the Coastal Douglas-fir zone and suggest appropriate ways to resolve those issues.

Q: What is the structure of the partnership?

The CDFCP is led by a steering committee with participants from many of the partner organizations. Below the steering committee are a number of proposed working groups that will be developed over time. The Working Groups we anticipate forming over the next year include:

a) Restoration and Stewardship group
b) Science/Technical
c) Local Government
d) Resource Sector
e) Outreach and Education
f) Securement

We anticipate hiring a Program coordinator to facilitate work by both the steering committee and the working groups over the next year.