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.

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.

This is the Board’s closing letter for the investigation of a complaint about harvesting associated with cutting permit 17 issued to Interwest Timber Ltd. (the licensee) under forest license A80509.

This complaint arose when Interwest planned six cutblocks in the vicinity of Tyaughton Lake. Residents at Tyaughton Lake became aware of this planned activity when they noticed harvest boundaries marked in the forest above their properties in early 2011. The Tyax Ratepayer’s Association was formed in the spring of 2011 to represent the residents and their concerns regarding this development.

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.