On September 9, 2019, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a resident of Kitwanga. The complainant is concerned that planned harvesting of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) timber sale license A52734 Block 001 will damage valuable mushroom habitat. The complaint considered BCTS’s legal obligations under the Forest and Range Practices Act and investigated whether public consultation was appropriate.
The Forest Practices Board determined that the approach taken by BCTS to manage pine mushroom habitat met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act. BCTS’s consultation efforts were also appropriate.
As part of its 2018 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Coast Mountains Natural Resource District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected tree farm licence (TFL) 41, forest licence (FL) A16882 and FL A16885, held by Skeena Sawmills Ltd. (Skeena), for audit. Skeena operates in two general locations; Operations for TFL 41 and FL A16885 are within 40 kilometres of Kitimat BC and operations for FL A16882 are just south of Meziadin Lake. During the two-year audit period Skeena harvested about 414,000 cubic metres using ground, cable and helicopter harvesting systems, constructed 51 kilometres of road and installed 4 major structures.
Skeena’s operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction, maintenance and deactivation, silviculture, and fire protection activities generally complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations. However, the audit noted a significant non-compliance related to seed transfer guidelines and an area requiring improvement related to free-growing obligations.
As part of its 2016 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Coast Mountain Resource District for the location of a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected Forest Licence (FL) A16884, held by Canada Resurgence Developments Ltd. (CRD) for audit.
CRD’s operations under FL A16884 are near Bowser Lake and north in the Bell Irving watershed. Most of the operations are adjacent to Highway 37N (the Stewart–Cassiar Highway) and the Bell-Irving River north of Meziadin Junction. Operations are primarily on gentle ground. FL A16884 has an allowable annual cut of 291 712 cubic metres and harvested approximately 142 930 cubic metres during the two-year audit period.
The audit identified two significant non-compliances related to structure installation and silviculture obligations. CRD constructed two structures over seven metres in length instead of two, four metre long log culverts. Consequently, the structures are considered log stringer bridges which are subject to various requirements of the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation (FPPR). Because CRD was planning to install a log culvert, they did not comply with the FPPR. In addition, CRD did not update the forest cover information and could not confirm that free growing was achieved on five cutblocks.
CRD has stated that it will remove the structures in 2017 and will inspect all new wooden box culvert installation. CRD also stated that it will complete free-growing surveys and update forest cover information for the five cutblocks in 2017.
As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2014 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Coast Mountain Resource District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected Community Forest Licence K1X held by Terrace Community Forest Limited Partnership (TCF). The audit assessed all harvesting, roads, silviculture, protection activities, and associated planning, carried out between August 1, 2012, and August 28 2014.
TCF conducts operations in three distinct operating areas located close to the City of Terrace. TFC conducted spacing activities in the northern operating area and second-growth management, including harvesting spruce weevil damaged stands and commercial thinning, in the southern operating area which was previously harvested in the early 1970’s. TCF has an allowable annual cut of 30,000 cubic metres and harvested approximately 54,000 cubic metres during the two-year audit period.
The audit found that the planning and field activities undertaken by Terrace Community Forest complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations, as of July 2014.
As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2013 compliance audit program, the BC Timber Sales program and timber sale licence holders in the Coast Mountains Resource District portion of the Skeena Business Area were randomly selected for audit.
The Skeena Business Area within the Coast Mountains Resource District conducts operations in the Kalum, North Coast, Nass, Pacific and Cascadia timber supply areas and Tree Farm Licences 1 and 41. The district includes the communities of Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Stewart, New Aiyansh and Port Edward, as well as several villages
In 2009, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs (the complainant) filed a complaint with the Board asserting that Canada Resurgence Development Ltd. (CRD), the holder of FL A16884, was not doing enough to ensure that it met its silvicultural obligations for achieving a free‐ growing crop of trees in cutblocks within Gitanyow territory, and thatMFR was not adequately enforcing the licensees’ silviculture obligations.
Forest Licence A16884 is in the Kalum Forest District. The Kotcho area is within the operating area for this licence, and is within the hereditary territory of Gitanyow. Gitanyow territory includes parts of the Nass River and the Cranberry River, northwest of Terrace. The licence has changed hands several times over two decades and there has been a pattern of licence holders going into receivership and failing to complete the silviculture obligations.
As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2009 compliance audit program, the Board selected Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 1 for audit. TFL 1 is held by Coast Tsimshian Resources (CTR) limited partnership. TFL 1 is located in the Kalum Forest District and it includes four geographically separate blocks surrounding Terrace (see map on page 2).
Since 1986, TFL 1 has been held by Skeena Cellulose, NWBC Timber and Pulp, and New Skeena Forest Products. CTR acquired TFL 1 in 2005 when New Skeena Forest Products Ltd. was under creditor protection.
The Board’s audit fieldwork took place August 17 to 21, 2009.
This Forest Practices Board report presents the results of an investigation of fish passage at stream crossings in 19 watersheds in the central and northern interior and on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. In total, 1,159 crossings of fish-bearing streams were examined. Each watershed had a mix of crossings built before the implementation of the 1995 Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the Code), after the implementation of the Code, and also after the replacement of the Code with the 2002 Forest and Range Practices Act.
The number of stream crossings within British Columbia is constantly increasing due to new road development. Government estimates that there are approximately 370,000 stream crossings in the province, of which about 76,000 are culverts on fish streams (BC MOE, 2008). For this reason, fish stream crossings may be the single most important habitat impact affecting fish.
There have been numerous studies of stream crossings in the province. Nearly all of these studies have focused on fish passage through closed bottom structures (CBS). However, watersheds also contain a variety of other crossing types, including open bottom structures (OBS) such as bridges, log culverts, arch culverts, and open box structures. This study is the first to examine fish passage in context: on a watershed scale, in a large number of watersheds, reporting on the overall fish passage through road crossings.
A resident of Lakelse Lake, near Terrace, wrote to the Board with concerns about forest practices in a cutblock near Furlong Creek. After discussions and a meeting with the participants, the complaint issues were resolved.
The Nisga’a final agreement requires government to bring the forest lands on Nisga’a territory up to agreed-upon standards. The agreement also requires the Forest Practices Board to audit forest planning and practices on Nisga’a lands for the five-year period ending in May 2005.
The fifth audit began in 2005 and was completed in early 2007. The audit examined the planning and practices of West Fraser Mills Limited, Sim Gan Forest Corporation, New Skeena Forest Products, BC Timber Sales and the obligations of the Kalum district manager.