As part of its 2019 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Cascades Natural Resource District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected Tolko Industries Ltd.’s (Tolko) forest licences (FL) A18696, A18697 and A74911 for audit. Forest licences A18696, A18697 and A74911 are within the Merritt timber supply area (TSA), which covers about 1.13 million hectares in British Columbia’s southwest interior. Merritt and Princeton are the largest communities in the TSA.
The audit found an area for improvement with the completion of fire hazard assessments.
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.