- Conducting research in: Improved Partnerships - Traditional Ecological Knowledge - Education - Ecotourism



John Prince Research Forest

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Research Stream Leaders: Sue Grainger

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How can the existing co-management partnership between Tl'azt'en Nation and UNBC be strengthened? Answering this question is the main focus of the Improved Partnerships Stream. Co-management of the John Prince Research Forest (JPRF) requires monitoring, evaluation and adjustments. As well, research on the JPRF requires adherence to principles that meet community and researchers' requirements. The current research has two components, including 1) improving the standards of research accountability and 2) enhancing the functioning of the JPRF co-management partnership.

Prior to the establishment of the JPRF, Tl'azt'en Nation created a protocol for research on the traditional territory. As the protocol dates to 1996, a first step of improving our partnership will be to assess the need for revisions to the protocol in the light of expanded partnership possibilities through CURA, and significant developments regarding such protocols across Canada in the last five years. This project takes place in year one of CURA. It involves collection and analysis of the standard and innovative components of existing research protocols; drafting a prototype set of guidelines; solicitation of comment from Tl'azt'en members, UNBC researchers, and others; and revision and submission to Tl'azt'en Nation Chief and Council for their consideration.

The second component of this work is scheduled for the first three years of CURA. Our research team will design and evaluate methods for local-level criteria and indicators (C&I) development and produce a set of flexible C&I to direct, monitor, and evaluate forest co-management arrangements, particularly those involving First Nations. The John Prince Research Forest (JPRF) is used as a case to explore the essential elements of co-management. We're focused on learning what people from Tl'azt'en Nation and University of Northern BC, as well as other forest stakeholders, think about co-management processes and outcomes. We aim to apply our findings to improve co-management of the JPRF. In addition, we hope our results will enhance forest co-management in other areas and assist other types of joint management partnerships such as joint ventures or community forests. Does this sound familiar? This project started in 2003; it was funded initially by Forestry Innovation Investment and was called Criteria and Indicators for Joint Forest Management. For the next three years, this work will be funded by CURA. Although the project will continue as planned, we have a new name - Improved Partnerships. In addition to the leaders listed above, Gail Fondahl (UNBC), many Tl'azt'en Nation experts, post-secondary students, and high school students, and several UNBC undergraduate and graduate students will be involved in accomplishing the work of this stream. We have a great team assembled who are eager to learn and to accomplish positive change in our communities and workplaces. We look forward to working with members of both Tl'azt'en Nation and UNBC to make our partnership a success!


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Yim, D.K.Y. 2009. Evolving Co-Management Practice: Developing a Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Framework with Tl'azt'en Nation on the John Prince Research Forest. Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC. pdf

Quinn, S. E. 2007. Locally Defined Measures of Successful Forest Co-management: A Case Study of Tl'azt'en Nation and the John Prince Research Forest. Unpublished Master's Thesis, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. University of Northern BC, Prince George, BC. pdf


GRAINGER, S., SHERRY, E. E. and FONDAHL, G. 2006 'The John Prince Research Forest: Evolution of a co-management partnership in northern British Columbia' Forestry Chronicle 82, 484-495. pdf

Abstract: The John Prince Research Forest (JPRF) was established as a co-managed forest between Tl’azt’en Nation and the University of Northern British Columbia, as an opportunity for these partners to blend their respective ways of understanding and managing forests to contribute to ecological and social sustainability. Using four criteria of successful co-management reported in the literature as critical to the early stages of partnership — partnership building, institutional structure, decision-making, and capacity — we discuss the JPRF’s performance during the first half-decade of its existence. The JPRF’s early experience provides an example of the evolution of a co-management relationship that, while facing constraints and challenges in regard to some of the criteria, has provided the foundation for a strong future partnership.

Erin Sherry, Regine Halseth, Gail Fondahl, Melanie Karjala and Beverly Leon. 2005. Local-level criteria and indicators: an Aboriginal perspective on sustainable forest management. Forestry. Advance Access published on September 6, 2005. pdf

Abstract: As tools for improving the sustainability of forest management, criteria and indicator (C&I) frameworks have grown in popularity over the last decade. Such frameworks have been largely derived from top-down approaches to determining critical measures of forest management success. While useful, they fail to capture many C&I of critical importance to local populations, who experience forest management strategies first hand and who have their own definitions of sustainability. Using archival materials, our research begins to identify one First Nation's forest values and compares these local-level C&I with three well-known C&I frameworks for sustainable forestry. We demonstrate that local-level definitions can provide additional C&I, as well as additional levels of detail to C&I that they share with the national and international frameworks. Both are crucial to developing strategies for sustainable management that meet local as well as broader needs and desires.




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(*additional funding from Forestry Innovation Investment - Forest Research Program)

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© Tl'azt'en Nation and the University of Northern BC CURA - Partnering for Sustainable Resource Management, 2005

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