Appointed by the Premier of British Columbia, the Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board (M-KAB) is mandated with advising government on natural resource management in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area (M-KMA) to ensure that activities within the area are consistent with the objectives of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan. Advisory Board members provide their services voluntarily and without remuneration except for travel expenses while undertaking Advisory Board business and attending Advisory Board meetings.
The members of the Advisory Board represents both the interests of the M-KMA as well as the perspectives of their respective constituencies.
The Advisory Board must prepare an annual report (check our resource library section to view past and current reports) to the Premier and the Public outlining its funding expenditures, submitting its advice to government, and reporting on Board and Committee work.
M-KMA Vision (established by the M-KAB)
"The Muskwa Kechika Management Area is a globally significant area of wilderness, wildlife and cultures, to be maintained in perpetuity, where world class integrated resource management decision-making is practiced ensuring that resource development and other human activities take place in harmony with wilderness quality, wildlife and the dynamic ecosystems on which they depend"
M-KAB members reflect a diversity of perspectives including:
- First Nations
- oil and gas
- local government
- commercial recreation
- wilderness tourism
- guide outfitting
- alternative energy
The Advisory Board meets at least once per year in locations such as Prince George and Fort St John BC. The general public is invited to attend portions of these meetings. In part, the intent is to conduct semi-annual reviews of activities and review strategic plans to ensure that the intent of the M-KMA is upheld. M-KAB meetings work to accomplish the following:
- Review information and new developments within the M-KMA;
- Develop recommendations and/or advice for government for anticipated resource development in the MKMA;
- Provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the M-KMA, the M-KAB and table enquiries with the Advisory Board;
- Government agencies and other organisations update Board members and others with the full perspective of planning and activities occurring within the M-KMA; and
- Engage stakeholders and have presentations on issues and concerns affecting the M-KMA.
The Executive Committee has 5 members, led by the M-KAB Chair, who is appointed by the Premier of BC, along with 4 with elected members, one of whom is appointed as Vice Chair. The Executive Committee meets monthly by teleconference to undertake and track Advisory Board business between the Advisory Board meeting(s).
Advisory Board Working Groups
When specific initiatives arise that are not in the realm of the Executive committee, an ad hoc Working Group is created to work on the initiative and to provide recommendations to the Executive and Advisory Board for a consensus based decision.
Currently there are 7 established Working Groups:
- UNBC-MKMA Collaborative Partnership Working Group is tasked with ensuring their joint vision for the research needs and priorities of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area is fulfilled;
- Wilderness Definition and Vision Working Group completed its task of developing a working definition of wilderness for the M-KMA that meets the spirit and intent of the M-KMA Management Act including its' preamble. The group also completed a draft vision for the M-KMA. The remaining action to complete these two initiatives is to meet with BC Government ministry officials to attempt on reaching a shared and common understanding of the definition and the vision.
The working group is now leading the development of a Natural Resource Management Framework to guide its advice to Government on resource development in the M-KMA. The working group will soon engage with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to test its' draft framework within the context of the Fort Saint John LRMP Update Initiative for the area of the M-KMA that falls within the Fort Saint John LRMP;
- Fox/Obo Forestry Advice Working Group is tasked with providing recommendations and advice to Government ministry officials as forest operation plans are submitted for review and approval. The current initiative is to work with officials from the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development on the development of timber harvesting landscape unit objectives for the area of the M-KMA that falls within the Fort Saint John LRMP Update initiative;
- First Nations Relations Working Group is tasked with investigating and recommending a strategy to improve the working relationship between First Nations and the Advisory Board with respect to the stewardship and management of the MKMA;
- Board Membership and Composition Working Group is tasked with developing a framework to guide appointments and re-appointments to ensure the Advisory Board is reflective of First Nations, community and resource sector interests in the MKMA. Our Chair, Stephanie Killam is working with our Strategic Coordinator, Phil Zacharatos, on developing a set of guidelines to assist with selecting appointments and reappointments with the goal of achieving a Board membership that is a balanced cross-section of the natural resource sector including Indigenous Peoples and other communities with interests in the management of the M-KMA;
- Diversified Funding Model Working Group is tasked with exploring new opportunities with organizations that may have an interest in the management and stewardship of the MKMA and are willing to fund research activities in the MKMA;
- Mineral Tenures Working Group is tasked with reviewing the final report sanctioned by the Advisory Board and undertaken by EBA and to make recommendations to the Province based on the findings and recommendations laid out in the report.
Translated, Muskwa means Bear and Kechika (Ketchika - Táhdáséh) means long inclining river