Downloading of Wildfire Mitigation Costs and Responsibility

Year
2018
Category
Finance
NCLGA Ref#
B17

Details

WHEREAS current wildfire trends in British Columbia, being driven by the effects of climate change and the devastating and lasting effects of the mountain pine beetle, show increasing impacts to timber values from unwanted wildfires and associated suppression costs, an increased threat to infrastructure and communities and increased losses of natural resources; including mid-term timber supply;

AND WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia introduced the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI) in 2004 which resulted in the cost, responsibility and expertise of wildfire mitigation on Crown land, areas surrounding municipalities and land inside municipal boundaries, being shifted onto municipalities which is creating significant additional pressure on municipal finances and staff resources:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA lobby the Provincial and Federal Governments to discontinue downloading wildfire mitigation costs and responsibilities onto Municipalities and First Nations through the SWPI program and take responsibility for wildfire mitigation costs on Crown land and areas surrounding municipalities.

Responses

UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership endorsed resolution 2017-B4 which requested that the Province develop a more efficient and effective model to address the interface wildfire risk reduction needs of BC communities under the supervision of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

UBCM has administered the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI) since 2004. As of April 2018, SWPI is not accepting funding applications pending the outcome of the Provincial Flood and Wildfire Review.

North Central Local Government Association