As part of its 2019 compliance audit program, the Board selected three non-replaceable forest licences (NRFLs) in the Chilliwack Natural Resource District as a location for a full scope compliance audit. The licences include A75807, A79504 and A90380, held by Ts’elxweyeqw Forestry Limited Partnership, Leq’ A: Mel Forestry Limited Partnership, and Skwah First Nation, respectively.
The activities audited are located in the area around Chilliwack, near Chehalis, Wahleach and Chilliwack Lakes. Operations are located in the Chehalis, Chilliwack and Silverhope Landscape Units, where resource values include scenic areas, wildlife habitat for a variety of species, recreation areas, consumptive watersheds and culturally important areas. The licensees must meet objectives set by government for old growth management areas, scenic areas, wildlife, community watersheds and karst.
The activities for all of the licensees audited complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
In mid-October, the Forest Practices Board audited the forest activities of Lakeside Pacific Forest Products Ltd. Lakeside operates on both sides of Harrison Lake in the Chilliwack Natural Resource District.
This was a full scope compliance audit and all activities carried out between October 1, 2015, and October 18, 2017, complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
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.