Smithers resident Kevin Kriese was appointed chair of the Forest Practices Board last month.
“It’s kind of a dream job. I’m quite excited,” said Kriese. “The chair of the Forest Practice Board is a very unique position. An opportunity to lead an independent organization working on sustainable forest management doesn’t come up very often.”
The board is an independent agency that advocates for sustainable forest and range practices in British Columbia.
Kriese will be leaving his current position as assistant deputy minister for the north area with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to join the board.
“The board serves a critical role in overseeing forest and range practices in British Columbia,” said Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson in a press release. “[Kriese’s] experience will be a significant asset, as he brings his extensive contacts and relationships with industry, northern communities and First Nations with him.”
Kriese has 27 years of experience in the natural resource management field. He spent 25 years working with the provincial government and two years working as a consultant.
Kriese said his understanding of the intricacies of the provincial government will help the board be successful in its goals.
“The board is both influencing forest practices but to a sub degree is also influencing forest policy changes,” said Kriese. “I can help us be effective at making sure that our recommendations have the best chance possible of influencing forest policy.”
The incoming chair pointed to the Nisga’s treaty as an example of how the board could potentially work with First Nations. In the treaty the board has a defined role to help undertake audits on forestry of Nisga’a lands.
“That’s an example of where the board can play a role working with First Nations lands that may or may not occur in other places in the future but it’s a good example of role that the board can play,” said Kriese.
Kriese is the second member of the board to reside in the Bulkley Valley.
Wilp sustainability director at Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office, Tara Marsden of New Hazelton, is also a member of the board.
Marsden did not respond to The Interior News requests for comment in time for publication.
Kriese’s three-year appointment beings Aug. 7.