In fall 2017, the Forest Practices Board audited the forest activities of 0866740 B.C. Ltd. This company, held by Aspen Planers Ltd., operates in the Cascades Natural Resource District near Lillooet, Gold Bridge, and the Bridge River.

This was a full scope compliance audit and all activities carried out between July 1, 2015, and November 2, 2017, were eligible for audit.

Activities complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act but the audit identified two areas for improvement related to fire hazard assessments and visual quality management.

The Board investigated a complaint from a community group about the potential visual impacts of a licensee’s planned logging near Lillooet.  This area has visual quality objectives (VQOs), and the licensee’s forest stewardship plan contained results and strategies to meet these objectives.  The complainant was concerned that planned logging would not meet the VQOs, and wondered why the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development would issue a permit and why their compliance and enforcement branch would not do something prior to logging.

In planning the logging, the licensee had completed visual simulations and was working with community members to be consistent with the VQOs. This report describes the community member’s concerns, efforts by the licensee and government, and results of these efforts after logging.

In September 2015, the Forest Practices Board audited range planning and practices on five agreements for grazing in the Cascades district. Four of the agreement areas are located around Merritt and the smallest of the agreements audited is located just north of Princeton. The audit involved assessing compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act, including the required content of range use plans and whether agreement holders met practice requirements such as protection of riparian areas, upland areas, licensed waterworks and maintenance of range developments.

The audit found that all five range agreements audited had range plans that met the required content. Agreement holders generally met FRPA’s plan and practice requirements but on two agreements, a total of four areas requiring improvement were identified. On one agreement area, the holder did not comply with the grazing schedule in the range plan including the class of livestock and period of use in each pasture. Also, livestock caused damage to about 400 metres of stream and about 100 hectares of Crown land was being grazed without authority. On the other agreement area,  livestock caused damage to about 130 metres of riparian area.

This audit examined the activities of Ka-Bar Resources Limited (Ka-Bar) on 10 cutblocks located northeast of Princeton, near the community of Bankeir in the Cascades District, from September 1, 2012, to September 16, 2013.

In 2006, government created a new category of forest licence to enable harvesting of trees to protect communities from wildfire. Five of Ka-Bar’s forestry licences to cut were issued for that purpose—to protect local residents from wildfire. This is the first time the Board has audited this type of tenure.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2011 compliance audit program, Weyerhaeuser Company Limited’s forest licence A18698 in the Cascades forest district was selected for audit. The forest licence lies within the Merritt timber supply area (TSA), and nearby communities include Princeton, Tulameen and Hedley. The audit took place between October 1, 2010 and October 20, 2011.

The Board’s report on a complaint into the activities and decisions of the Wildfire Management Branch during the initial stages of the 2009 Tyaughton Lake fire.

As a part of its 2009 audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Cascades Forest District, located in the Southern Interior Forest Region, for an audit of the appropriateness of government enforcement of forest and range practices legislation.

The audit examined enforcement activities under the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act from January 1, 2008, until March 4, 2010. This report describes the results of the audit, which looked at activities such as tracking, inspecting and reporting licensees’ forest activities, and taking action to address non-compliance.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2010 compliance audit program, the British Columbia Timber Sales’ (BCTS) program and timber sale licence (TSL) holders in the Kamloops Business Area’s Merritt Field Unit, located in the Cascades Forest District, were selected for audit. Forestry activities were administered by the BCTS Kamloops Business Area office located in Merritt.

BCTS has been allocated an annual timber harvest volume of 595,236 cubic metres in the Merritt and Lillooet Timber Supply Areas (TSAs). During the one-year period of this audit, TSL holders harvested 380 075 cubic metres under the BCTS program.

The Board’s audit fieldwork took place from September 27 to 30, 2010.

In British Columbia, use of Crown range is regulated by the Range Act and the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The Range Act provides the authority to grant range agreements, including permits and licences. These agreements include things like the tenure area and the amount of forage that can be consumed by livestock on Crown land. Similar to the former Forest Practices Code, FRPA provides the necessary authority for government to manage the Crown land resource. This includes authority to require the agreement holder to prepare a range plan and follow practice requirements.

The investigation found that the current framework for range planning under FRPA is not working well for agreement holders, MFR range staff or for management of the range resource. First, there is widespread uncertainty about what the objectives for range mean and what is required to achieve them. Second, agreement holders are expected to write measurable and enforceable plans, yet may not have the necessary qualifications and experience to do so. Finally, the preparation and approval of RUPs is a time consuming and challenging task for agreement holders and the MFR, and it is not clear if range planning is achieving any measurable benefit in managing the range resource.

This investigation assesses the effect of recent range practices in maintaining the ability of upland grasslands to provide forage for livestock and habitat for threatened and endangered grassland species. The investigation is limited to open grasslands in the Interior Douglas Fir (IDF) Biogeoclimatic Zone in the south central portion of BC, because half the grasslands in BC occur in that zone.