The Forest Practices Board received a complaint about compliance of planning and practices under the Haida Gwaii Land Use Objectives Order by British Columbia Timber Sales. The complainant identified cutblocks in the Naikoon landscape unit and was specifically concerned about sustainable stewardship of cedar, watershed level hydrological processes, and landscape level conservation of biodiversity. The complaint also provided the Board with opportunity to see how ecosystem based management on Haida Gwaii.
Board investigators field reviewed cutblocks identified by the complainant and found BCTS planning and practices in the Naikoon landscape unit for sustainable cedar management, watershed level hydrologic processes and landscape level biodiversity are compliant with requirements under the Order. As well, the Board found that implementation of the Order in the Naikoon LU is currently meeting the intent of ecosystem-based management, according to its underlying principles and the necessary requirements to address such a complicated resource challenge.
The Forest Practices Board received a complaint that alleged forestry activities by A&A Trading, Taan Forest, and BC Timber Sales in the Skidegate Landscape Unit (LU) on Haida Gwaii resulted in landslides, road failures and siltation of fish-bearing streams. In addition, the complainant believes that ecological representation targets for old forest in the Skidegate LU are not being met.
Board investigators field reviewed areas of concern and did not find any evidence that primary forest activities caused a landslide that had a material adverse effect, or that cutblocks and roads contributed sediment to fish bearing streams. The investigators observed that roads were well constructed and maintained.
The ecological representation targets for old forest are in a deficit, but licensees are implementing a recruitment strategy consistent with the legally binding Haida Gwaii Land Use Objectives Order. Not all recruitment areas have been spatially defined, and the Board encourages the licensees and government to finalize the spatial identification of all recruitment polygons as soon as possible.
In August 2016 the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of Husby ‘s Forest Licence A16869 in the Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District. Husby is part of the Husby Group, a privately held forest products company with operations mainly located on Haida Gwaii. The licence permits it to harvest 192,044 cubic metres of timber each year within the district.
Husby passed the audit with operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture, and fire protection activities complying in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations. However, because Husby did not complete fire hazard assessments on time, the audit found an area requiring improvement for fire hazard assessments.
In March 2013, Heritage and Natural Resources Committee of the Council of the Haida Nation complained that timber harvesting on Haida Gwaii, by Teal Cedar Products Ltd., did not meet visual quality objectives at a number of locations. The complainant was also concerned about the lack of accountability for the results of these practices under BC’s Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), which includes professional reliance as a key foundational element.
While this report looks at the licensee’s compliance with government’s established visual quality objectives, it also underscores key considerations for making professional reliance effective. It also emphasizes the importance of appropriate government enforcement to support public confidence in discretionary decision-making held by licensees and their professionals under FRPA.
In spring 2008, the Forest Practices Board conducted a limited scope compliance audit of Western Forest Products Inc. (WFP) Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 39/Block 6 in the Haida Gwaii Forest District (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands), with a focus on fish streams and crossings.
The audit assessed more than 140 cutblocks, 1,800 kilometres of road activities and obligations, and 450 bridges, as well as associated operational planning. The audit found that harvesting, road activities and associated planning undertaken by WFP between May 1, 2006, and May 30, 2008, complied with legislative requirements in all significant respects.
Haida Gwaii contains a large number of high-value fish streams and the Board commends WFP on the various measures it has taken to protect fish and fish habitat on TFL 39/Block 6. By minimizing the potential input of sediment into fish streams, ensuring fish passage at stream crossings and maintaining large riparian management areas, WFP is actively engaging in minimizing impacts to fish and fish habitat while conducting its forestry operations.