In May 2016, Sierra Club BC submitted a complaint about logging practices in the East Creek Valley. This valley is just north of Mquqwin / Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park on northwest Vancouver Island. Sierra Club BC (the complainant) was concerned with a wide range of issues related to forest planning and practices.

The Board examined the licensee’s forest operations on the ground in the East Creek Valley, their planning activities relating to the operations, and whether the licensee provided adequate access to site plan information when requested by the complainant.

In January 2015, Spirit of the West Adventures, a guided adventure tourism company that has a base camp at Boat Bay, complained that proposed harvesting by TimberWest Forest Corp. would adversely affect their clients’ kayaking experience. The complainant was also concerned that neither TimberWest nor the district manager of the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, North Island Central Coast District, addressed its concerns about visual quality in a reasonable manner.

Because the concern did not focus on the licensee’s compliance with government’s established visual quality objective, this report focuses on whether TimberWest and the district manager addressed the visual concerns in a reasonable manner.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2014 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Campbell River Resource District as the location for an audit. Within the district, the Board selected Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 47, held by TimberWest Forest Corporation. The audit assessed all timber harvesting, roads, silviculture, protection activities, and associated planning, carried out over two years, commencing in August 2012.

TimberWest conducted its operations within the Campbell River and North Island Central Coast Districts, south-east of Port McNeil and on the islands to the east of Johnstone Strait. These islands are only accessible by water, making operations challenging. The TFL contains natural resource values, including scenic corridors, marine recreation areas, old growth forests, rare plant communities, and cultural sites, requiring special management. During the two-year audit period, the licensee harvested approximately 730 000 cubic metres of timber, in accordance with their forest stewardship plans.

The audit found that planning and field activities undertaken by TimberWest complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

The audit found an area of improvement related to fire hazard assessments.

This special investigation looked at karst management on northern Vancouver Island and did not determine that any caves or significant karst features had been damaged or rendered ineffective by forestry activities. However, investigators were only able to assess the portions of karst terrain thatwere readily visible; they did not assess the subterranean portions.

The Board acknowledges that forest management on karst terrain can be challenging, due to identified surface karst features being only a small part of the karst terrain as a whole; and that this is further complicated by legislation that only focuses on caves and very specific karst features.Since much of the karst terrain cannot easily be assessed, the Board believes it is important that forest professionals take a cautious approach when addressing karst features and utilize karst specialists and the best available information when assessing karst features and prescribing management strategies.

In June 2012, the Board conducted a full scope audit of forest planning and practices on International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor) Forest Licences A16850 and A82001 in the North Island-Central Coast District.

This area, often referred to as the Great Bear Rainforest is rugged, remote, and characterized by a wet, windy climate, making forest operations challenging. The area has received international attention due to concerns about resource use in one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. This attention has led to the collaboration of land users, First Nations and government agencies in the creation of land use orders designed in part to implement ecosystem-based management (EBM), integrating social, economic and ecological needs in the area. This is the first Board audit in the Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area where EBM has been incorporated into planning and practices.

In June 2009, the Board conducted a full-scope compliance audit of forest planning and practices of the British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) program and timber sale holders, in the central coast portion of the Seaward-tlasta Business Area.

The audit assessed operational planning, silviculture obligations, fire protection activities, harvesting on 27 cutblocks and over 500 kilometres of road activities.

The Board’s audit fieldwork took place from June 22 to 25, 2009.

The Ministry of Forests and Range (MFR) Compliance and Enforcement (C&E) program is responsible for promoting compliance with, and ensuring enforcement of, the province’s forest legislation. Conducting inspections to determine licensee compliance is a key activity of this program, and is the ministry’s primary source of information to assess compliance.

This investigation examines, at the district level, the number of compliance and enforcement (C&E) inspections completed in 2005 and 2006, and the range of alleged non-compliances identified in inspection reports for six forest districts: North Coast and Campbell River in the Coast Region; Skeena-Stikine and Fort Nelson in the Northern Interior Region; and Kamloops and Chilcotin in the Southern Interior Region.

This is a report on a “limited scope” audit for TFL 6, held by Western Forest Products Inc., in which only harvesting, road activities and associated planning were examined. These activities were assessed for compliance with the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), and related regulations.

The Board’s audit fieldwork took place from June 25 to 29, 2007.

Originally published in 2008, this report was revised and re-published in January 2009. Revisions were made to correct data errors and to clarify the Board’s views on the findings of the investigation. The conclusions and recommendations in the original report did not change.

This investigation examines the sustainability of timber supply in areas with high retention harvesting on the Queen Charlotte Islands and the central and northern B.C. coast, by assessing post-harvest stand structure and condition in recent cutblocks. The investigation found high-grading of cedar and some spruce trees—selectively removing the valuable cedar and spruce trees, leaving behind mainly old rotting hemlock trees spread across the cutblock. The investigation also found that important social and environmental values such as viewscapes and biodiversity, often cited as the reason for using this method, were protected.

Triumph Timber Ltd.’s activities near Prince Rupert complied with legislative requirements, including operations in isolated operating areas accessible only by aircraft or boat. The licensees employed good environmental practices to minimize the impact of logging on marine mammals and initiated an adaptive approach to applying eco-system based management in the audit area.