Terms of Reference of the Dryden Local Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC)

Updated January 26, 2017

Preamble

A local citizens committee is a standing committee established by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) pursuant to section 13 of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) and the 2009 Forest Management Planning Manual (FMPM). Local citizen committee representatives are appointed to the committee by the MNRF District Manager.  The local citizens committee reports to the MNRF District Manager.

 

Terms of Reference

This Terms of Reference defines the role and guides the operation of the committee. The Terms of Reference is available to the public, upon request. The Terms of Reference contains the name of each committee member, contact information and date of appointment (Appendix I). The Terms of Reference will be reviewed annually and as a minimum, will be updated at the beginning of the preparation of each Forest Management Plan (Phase I and II).

 

Purpose

The purpose of a local citizens committee is to provide advice to the MNR District Manager. The Dryden Local Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC) will assist the Plan Author and Planning Team in the preparation and implementation of forest management plans on the Dryden and Wabigoon Forests.

The LCAC is also encouraged to provide advice regarding resource management beyond just forest management. A subject of resource management interest is considered to fall within the LCAC mandate when the following questions are considered and the resulting answers are generally positive.

  1. Is the resource management within MNR jurisdiction?
  2. Have the affected parties attempted to resolve the matter?
  3. Might LCAC involvement assist with resolving the matter?
  4. Is there LCAC consensus to proceed?

 

Legal Obligations

The LCAC must recognize and respect all legislation, legal commitments, agreements and obligations that bind the Crown. The LCAC is bound by specific legal obligations in the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA); the Forest Management Planning Manual, 2009 (FMPM) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA). Refer to Appendix 2 for the CFSA and FMPM direction regarding LCAC’s and refer to Appendix 3 for the FOIPPA direction.

 

Statement of Values

The LCAC is committed to:

  1. sustainable resource management, conducted in an ecologically sound manner;
  2. prompt attention to local concerns with timely input and responses; and for
  3. objective, impartial, consideration of all factors and consensus decision making.

 

LCAC Membership

The Dryden LCAC consists of Committee Members from the local area, who collectively possess a wide range of experience and/or knowledge in many resource areas.  The number of members is at the discretion of the District Manager.  Normally, LCAC appointments are made on a calendar year basis and shall be for a period of at least two years. New members are recommended by the LCAC and appointed by the MNRF District Manager.  Members are encouraged to extend their term beyond two years and may be re-appointed by the MNRF District Manager. Resigning members are encouraged to advise the LCAC Chair by November annually.

Normally, the recruitment of new members will occur once annually, following the November LCAC meeting. However, should vacancies occur in-year, the LCAC may recommend recruitment at any time. The procedure for selecting new members is detailed in Appendix 4. LCAC vacancies will be advertised locally to attract applicants.  The LCAC will review and score the applicants relative to the existing committee profile. The LCAC will recommend proposed member(s) for approval by the MNRF District Manager.

Prior to commencing the production of a new Forest Management Plan (Phase I and II), the MNRF District Manager will review the membership of the LCAC and may fill any vacancies. When reviewing the membership, the MNRF District Manager will invite Aboriginal communities (located on or adjacent to the Dryden and Wabigoon Forests) to nominate a representative interested in participating on the LCAC. The District Manager will consider the Aboriginal nominations when appointing a member(s) to the LCAC.

The MNRF provides a staff member to the LCAC to facilitate and assist the Committee in the implementation of its role and responsibilities. The MNRF Facilitator attends every LCAC meeting. The MNRF District Manager may attend any meeting.  The MNRF also provides a staff member to the LCAC to perform the role of Administrative Assistant.  The local SFL Companies (Domtar and DFMC) each provide at least one staff member to the Committee to provide industrial, operational and business forest expertise. The MNRF provides the Forester from each of the Dryden and Wabigoon Forests to the Committee to provide legislative, planning and administrative forest expertise.  The MNRF District Manager, Facilitator, Administrative Assistant and company and MNRF representatives are not members of the LCAC and do not contribute to a quorum.

 

Role and Responsibilities of the LCAC

The LCAC will participate as an integral part of the preparation and implementation of forest management plans. In general, the LCAC will:

  1. review training materials regarding roles and responsibilities and general forest management planning, provided by the MNRF; and
  2. adhere to the additional duties as specified in Appendix 5.

 

The LCAC will participate in the preparation of forest management plans by:

  1. nominating a Representative (and alternates) to the Planning Team.
  2. reviewing the summary of background information for an individual Forest (data describing timber & non-timber resources), provided by the MNRF prior to issuing the ‘Invitation to Participate’ notice.
  3. attending joint meetings with the Planning Team, to be held at agreed-upon stages of the planning process.
  4. participating in a meeting with the Planning Team to discuss the desired forest and benefits.
  5. participating in the development, identification and description of plan objectives, strategies, problems and issues.
  6. participating in the development of values maps.
  7. ensuring that local interests are effectively communicated to all others involved in forest management planning.
  8. increasing the effectiveness of the public consultation process by:
    1. participating in its implementation;
    2. providing advice on public notices;
    3. participating in developing and/or issuing supplemental notices;
    4. providing advice to the planning team on the content and presentation of information and maps at information centres;
    5. having representatives attend and participate at information centres; and
    6. providing advice on any additional public consultation opportunities that would be useful in the context of local circumstances and needs.
  9. promoting integration of all interests by participating in the evaluation of trade-offs which must be made during the planning process, and the resolution of problems, differences and conflicts as early as possible in the planning process.
  10. providing opportunities to participate in the formal issue resolution process.
  11. participating in the review of forest management plans.
  12. providing opportunities for a representative of the Committee to attend the presentation of the draft FMP to the MNRF Regional Director.
  13. producing regular reports of the committee’s activities.
  14. any other specific roles will be documented in the Terms of Reference for the specific Plan.

Additional detail regarding LCAC role and responsibilities, for a specific FMP, will be documented in the Terms of Reference for that specific FMP.

The LCAC will participate in the monitoring of implementation of forest plans by:

  1. providing advice to the MNRF District Manager when discretionary decisions must be made such as the categorization of amendments requests (see Appendix 6).
  2. reviewing Amendment proposals and receiving periodic updates about Administrative Amendments.
  3. reviewing Annual Work Schedules prior to approval.
  4. reviewing Annual Report summaries prepared by the MNRF and SFL-holder.
  5. producing regular reports of the LCAC’s activities.
  6. participating in the Independent Forest Audit process by having the opportunity:
    • to provide comments on forest operations;
    • to identify concerns and issues;
    • to provide a representative to participate in field visits; and
    • to provide any other relevant information.
  7. providing input to the development of district insect pest management programs by having representative(s) of the LCAC invited to serve on the interdisciplinary team which produces a district insect pest management program.

 

Training Materials for Members

Background materials and training information to help explain forest management planning and to assist Committee Members with their roles and responsibilities is presented to new Committee Members as they join the Committee, is delivered to the Committee as a whole with the start of each FMP planning process and upon request. The training materials generally consist of provincially prepared products and locally prepared materials associated with the Background Information for a specific Forest. Provincially prepared products include: an Introductory CD; various powerpoint presentations; copy of the FMPM, Participation Booklet and Training Workbook; and opportunity to participate in FMP training modules. Locally prepared products include: Forest specific Background Information in CD format; maps; and past LCAC minutes. Continuing Education is delivered through Committee Field Trips, specialized FMP training modules, guest speakers and ad-hoc presentations on subjects of interest.

 

Administration

The following are details about procedural matters developed by and for the LCAC:

Chair and Vice-Chair

The chair and vice-chair shall be elected by the members of the LCAC for a term of one year. Individuals may be re-elected for more than one term. The selection process will occur annually at the June meeting.

Contlict of Interest

Procedures regarding the declaration of conflicts of interest by individual LCAC members and how the LCAC will address those declarations are detailed in Appendix 7.

Meetings

LCAC meetings are normally not open to the public because of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act considerations. MNR staff or planning team members will attend as required. Other individuals or groups may only attend a LCAC meeting upon invitation from the Chair.

LCAC meetings will normally be scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month, from September to June. Meetings are normally held in room B5, in the basement of the Ontario Government Building in Dryden and normally run from 7:00 to 9:30 pm. Additional meeting(s) may be scheduled if pressing issues or completion ofa particular task is required. A quorum will exist when 50% of the appointed members are present. Without a quorum, the meeting may continue, but without decisions or motions. Recommendations, however could be presented at the next LCAC meeting to make decisions or motions on matters discussed at a previous, quorum-less meeting.

Agendas & Minutes

Future meeting agenda items are identified at the end of each meeting and are noted in the minutes. Additional agenda items may be confirmed by the LCAC Chair in consultation with the MNRF Facilitator.  An annual, generic schedule of agenda items, by month has been identified in Appendix 8.

Minutes of all meetings will be taken and prepared electronically by the Administrative Assistant. The Administrative Assistant will e-mail the draft minutes to the LCAC Chair and MNRF Facilitator within 3 days for review.  The Administrative Assistant will make any required alterations and send the minutes out electronically or by hardcopy (at member’s request), within 1 week of the meeting, to all members, Reps and the MNRF Facilitator.  The MNRF Facilitator will distribute the minutes, electronically to other MNRF staff. LCAC meeting minutes shall be available for public review and shall fully comply with the FOIPPA.

One week prior to the next meeting the LCAC Chair and MNRF Facilitator will confirm the upcoming agenda and the Administrative Assistant will e-mail the agenda to the members and the MNRF/Industry guests. The MNRF Facilitator will distribute the agenda, electronically to any other participants as required.

The Administrative Assistant will maintain records of all LCAC agendas, minutes, financial information and correspondence for the current year. The MNRF Facilitator will maintain a file of all archived LCAC records.

Refer to Appendix 9 for additional information about the duties and responsibilities of LCAC members, the LCAC Chair and Vice Chair, the Administrative Assistant, the MNRF Facilitator and the MNRF District Manager.

Participation

Members must be active on the Committee. A member who misses three consecutive meetings without notifying the Chair may be replaced. An attendance list will be kept by the LCAC Secretary to facilitate a periodic review of member’s attendance. When a member has not met the attendance requirements, the LCAC may request the MNR District Manager to replace that member.

Recommendations

Any recommendations from the LCAC must be provided in writing to the MNR District Manager. The MNR District Manager will respond in writing, in a timely manner, to all LCAC recommendations and correspondence. All LCAC recommendations require support of a majority of the LCAC members. Majority and minority opinions shall be recorded and included with the recommendation.

Where there is a dispute involving a forest management plan, the LCAC may, investigate the dispute and make a written recommendation to the District Manager as to the appropriate, or possible, resolutions to the dispute. The LCAC will follow the steps outlined in the LCAC conflict resolution process when dealing with a dispute that come before the LCAC (see Appendix 10).

Upon receipt of an LCAC recommendation, the MNR District Manager shall review the submission and make a decision to accept, reject or, in consultation with the LCAC, modify the recommendation. The MNR District Manager shall advise the LCAC, in writing, of the decision and the associated rationale. Where the MNR District Manager decides to reject or modify the recommendation, the LCAC may request a review of that decision by the MNR Regional Director. In such cases, the MNR Regional Director shall review the submission and shall advise the LCAC, in writing, of the decision and the associated rationale.

Financial

Members will be reimbursed by MNRF for reasonable out of-pocket expenses in connection with authorized LCAC activities. LCAC members may claim of-pocket expenses using the MNRF’s ‘Non-OPS’ Travel Claim form and submitting the completed form to the MNRF Facilitator.

The LCAC representative who serves as a member on a Planning Team is eligible for a per diem for attendance at planning team meetings and training.

Members will receive an Annual Allowance from MNRF in recognition of the costs incurred to receive and print electronic information, such as agendas and minutes (see Appendix 11).

MNRF will contribute funds as required for the LCAC to maintain a small bank account at the Dryden branch of the Nexus Credit Union. The account will be used by the Committee to cover the costs associated with the LCAC’s website and other miscellaneous expenses. Signing authority to draw funds from the account, will require signatures of the Chair and another Committee Member.  On a monthly basis, the Administrative Assistant will prepare a financial statement covering account activity over the last month and the financial statement will be presented at each LCAC meeting.  When the account gets below $100.00, the MNRF Facilitator will replenish the account back to $1,000.00

Reports

Annually, the LCAC will prepare a summary report of their activities. The annual report should include:

  • a list of LCAC members;
  • the number and dates of LCAC meetings which were held;
  • summary of subjects, issues the LCAC discussed and a summary of actions taken and/or recommendations made by the LCAC; and
  • summary of training opportunities and field trips that the LCAC members participated in.

Normally, responsibility for the preparation of this report is assigned by the LCAC Chair.

During the preparation of a forest management plan, the LCAC will also produce reports of its activities related to the plan. See Appendix 12 for a detailed summary of the LCAC FMP Repolts. Normally, the LCAC representative on the Planning Team will prepare these reports.

Insurance Coverage

When LCAC members receive a per diem payment for specific functions, they are considered to be “workers” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Additionally, the LCAC members are covered by the government’s general liability insurance to protect against third palty claims for injury or property damage.

MNR will ensure that accident insurance coverage is provided for the LCAC members when performing functions in a volunteer capacity.