The Board received a complaint that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) in the Chilliwack area was not doing enough to remove competing vegetation on their recently planted cutblocks. The complainant was concerned that it could result in plantations growing poorly due to competition with brushy vegetation and that BCTS might not meet its legal obligations for reforestation.

The Board examined BCTS’s post-planting silvicultural practices on the ground and reviewed records of brushing activities. The investigation concluded that BCTS did reduce its brushing in the Chilliwack operating area between 2013 and 2016. The Board also concluded that BCTS is undertaking adequate measures to reduce competing brush and comply with its legal reforestation requirements.

In July 2015, the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of Teal Cedar Products Ltd.’s forest licence A19201 in the Chilliwack resource district. Harvesting activity is spread out across the district with operations at Pitt Lake, Norrish Creek, west Harrison Lake, Sowaqua Creek (north of Hope) and Boston Bar. The Norrish Creek operating area was of particular interest to auditors as it provides drinking water to Abbotsford and Mission, and it is critical that forest practices and roads do not negatively impact water quality.

The audit found that Teal Cedar Products Ltd.’s operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture, and fire protection activities complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations.

As part of its 2014 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) activities in the Fraser timber supply area (TSA) for audit. The Fraser TSA is bounded by Bowen Island to the west, Manning Park to the east, Boston Bar to the north and the United States border to the south. The TSA includes the lower mainland and it is the most populated in the province.

The audit identified significant non-compliance with respect to BCTS’ planning for a cutblock beside the Hope Slide. The design of the block did not meet the established objectives for visual quality. The audit also identified an unsafe bridge and disturbance to a stream channel and stream bank by two timber sale licensees. These were also considered significant non-compliance. Finally, the audit identified unsound practices near streams by a timber sale licensee and noted that timber sale licensee fire preparedness could be improved.

This report is about a complaint from three residents of the Chilliwack River Valley who were concerned about logging near their subdivision close to Post Creek. One concern was about potential impacts of logging to the sensitive wildlife values in the area.

The area around Post Creek presents challenges for timber harvesting for several reasons: it is adjacent to a rural/residential community, it is close to a provincial park, it is down-slope from designated mountain goat winter range and it is within a designated habitat area for one of Canada’s most endangered species, the spotted owl. The licensee was aware of these challenges and knew the logging would cause public concerns.

Forest licensees in BC are not legally required to consult with the public for every cutblock they plan to harvest, but there are legal requirements for public consultation, which the Board considers to be a minimum. In this case, those legal minimums were actually exceeded; however, the Board has previously expressed the view that licensees should exercise judgment and provide meaningful public involvement tailored to local needs to maintain and build confidence in the management of BC’s forest resources. In the Board’s opinion, Post Creek was a situation that warranted more communication than was provided.

This audit examined the activities of 606546 B.C. Ltd. on forest licence A19202 in the Chilliwack Forest District. 606546 B.C. Ltd. purchased this forest licence in 2008, and it also holds other forest licences in the district. Dorman Timber Ltd. owns 606546 B.C. Ltd.

The audit results show that harvesting and wildfire protection activities were satisfactory, but the overall performance of 606546 B.C. Ltd. was not up to the standard required by legislation and expected by the public. The Board found three cases of significant non-compliance:

  1. Two bridges were installed without the required plans or drawings.
  2. Road construction equipment was moved across a bridge requiring repairs, despite the district manager’s direction not to use the bridge.
  3. Three sections of new road were not structurally sound or safe for use and were failing at the time of the audit.

Also See: Road and Bridge Practices – Board Audit Findings 2005 – 2011
(special report released concurrently)

The complaint lists a number of issues and includes a request that the cutblocks proposed by Tamihi Logging Co. Ltd. (licensee) not be allowed in the Post Creek area. Board staff investigated the complaint and consulted with all parties to try to resolve it.

There are a number of concerns in this investigation, the first being the licensee’s right to harvest given that a wildlife habitat area (WHA) for spotted owl exists in the proposed harvest area.

A WHA may be protected from logging through general wildlife measures associated with it, but not always. In this case, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Tamihi Logging Co. Ltd. agreed on an exemption for several of the licensee’s blocks as a way to mitigate for operating areas lost to Spotted Owl Management Plan #2.

In August 2010, the Board received a complaint about logging by Tamihi Logging Co. Ltd. in the Deroche Community Watershed, approximately 15 kilometres east of Mission, BC. The complainant was concerned about the impact Tamihi’s operations were having on water quality in the area and also that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO)1 was not adequately overseeing the operation.

The complainant contacted the Chilliwack Forest District office with his concerns in May, at which point the district manager arranged for a field trip so compliance and enforcement staff, along with both the complainant and the licensee, could discuss operations in the area. However, remaining concerned—and wanting improvement in the quality of practices in the watershed—the complainant then contacted the Board.

As part of its 2009 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Chilliwack Forest District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected Tree Farm Licence 26, held by the District of Mission, as the licence for audit.

The audit examined harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection activities, and associated planning undertaken between September 1, 2007, and October 1, 2009.

On April 28, 2008, the Blue Mountain and Kanaka Creek Conservation Group submitted a complaint to the Forest Practices Board. They asserted that rare wildlife species and domestic water sources are being damaged by motorized recreation users in the Kanaka Creek watershed near Maple Ridge, including Kathryn Creek. The Kanaka Creek watershed area has sensitive amphibian habitat containing both red-legged frogs and coastal tailed frogs. The area may also contain Pacific water shrews. All three species are designated as ‘species at risk’ under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).

This investigation examines the harvesting of a pair of cutblocks above Lake Errock, near  Harrison Mills. A resident of Sardis was disappointed that he could see the very visible cutblocks from Chilliwack. The Ministry of Forests and Range (MFR) told the complainant that, while the visual impact of the cutblocks was not consistent with the recommended visual quality objectives for the area, it met the legal requirements. The complainant asked the Board to clarify how this could happen and to determine whether it can be prevented in the future.