A resident in the Boundary area was concerned that harvesting a large clearcut would negatively impact water and wildlife. The forest licensee, Interfor Corporation, was harvesting a large area within its tree farm license in part to convert low value pine to a more productive stand. The Forest and Range Practices Act sets a minimum cutblock size but allows forest licensees to harvest larger cutblocks, subject to requirements to conserve biological diversity at the landscape level. The effects of these larger clearcuts can be negative or beneficial, depending on aspects of hydrology or species of wildlife.

This report examines whether the forest licensee complied with legislated requirements and is adequately managing risks to water and wildlife.

As part of its 2015 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board selected woodlot W0437, held by Arrow Glenn Ltd., in the Selkirk District, for audit. The woodlot’s operations are located on north-east of Creston, along Highway 3.

The audit found, except for silviculture obligations and annual reporting, that planning and practices generally complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Wildfire Act.

Arrow Glenn Ltd. did not meet FRPA requirements for regeneration delay, free growing or annual reporting on any of the cutblocks audited on woodlot W0437. Auditors found that the licensee did not meet the requirements within the required timeframes and did not conform to reporting standards for its annual reports. These combined significant non-compliances are of sufficient magnitude to warrant an overall adverse opinion.

As part of its 2015 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board selected woodlot W0436, held by Duncan Stanley Lake and Yvonne Boyd, in the Selkirk District, for audit. The woodlot’s operations are located on north-west of Meadow Creek, along Highway 31. The audit found, except for bridge maintenance and annual reporting, that planning and practices generally complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The audit also identified an area requiring improvement related to riparian management. Auditors found a bridge with rot in its substructure, which is a potential safety hazard. The licensee had not assessed the bridge for load-bearing strength nor posted any load restriction or bridge approach signs. Because the licensee had not properly identified and posted the bridge deficiency, it created a safety hazard and is not in compliance with the Woodlot Licence Planning and Practices Regulation (WLPPR). Auditors also found the licensee did not meet submission deadlines or specification requirements for its annual reports. These practices were pervasive and do not provide assurance of good silviculture practices and therefore is considered a significant non-compliance. Auditors also found the licensee had re-classified a fish stream (S3) as non-fish bearing but had not collected enough information to support the classification. As such, the licensee should have managed the stream as if it was fish bearing, requiring a 20-metre riparian reserve zone. The licensee harvested trees in the riparian reserve zone and is non-compliant with the WLPPR. While minimal harm resulted, this practice elevated the risk of harm to fish or fish habitat and is considered an area requiring improvement.

As part of its 2015 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board selected woodlot W0438, held by Jeffrey Mattes, in the Selkirk District, for audit. The woodlot’s operations are located on south of Kaslo, along Highway 31.

The audit found that planning and practices generally complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. However, the audit also identified two areas requiring improvement related to fire hazard assessments and annual reporting.

 

As part of its 2015 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board selected woodlot W1644, held by Rojo Logging Limited, in the Selkirk District, for audit. The woodlot’s operations are located east of Creston, along Highway 3.

The audit found that planning and practices generally complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. However, the audit also identified an area requiring improvement related to silviculture obligations and annual reporting.

Auditors found Rojo is in non-compliance with annual reporting, regeneration delay and free growing requirements, because the previous licensee did not meet these requirements. However, because Rojo recently took over the woodlot, identified these deficiencies and is implementing a plan to correct them, the finding is considered an area requiring improvement.

In May 2015, the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and timber sale licence holders in the Boundary timber supply area (TSA). The TSA covers approximately 659 000 hectares of the southern interior, north of the international border. The TSA includes the Kettle River and Granby River drainages and the communities of Grand Forks, Midway, Greenwood, Rock Creek, Beaverdell and Christina Lake.

The audit found that BCTS’ planning and activities complied with legislated requirements. However, the audit found that a timber sale licence holder did not maintain natural surface drainage patterns on a road above unstable terrain. The Board considered that to be a significant non-compliance. The Board also found that all but one timber sale licensee need to improve their fire hazard assessment practices.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2014 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Selkirk District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected occupant licence to cut (OLTC)1 L49318, held by RMR Acquisitions Inc. (RMR).

Established in 1912, Red Mountain Ski Resort is western Canada’s original ski resort. In 2007, the resort was incorporated into the Red Mountain CRA to recognize that any land use decision that may be made in relation to the CRA is for long term all season resort development purposes.

Over the past two years, approximately 52 000 cubic metres of timber was harvested from the OLTC as part of a ski hill expansion plan. Harvesting focused mainly on ski hill design objectives, but also addressed forest health and watershed interests.

In June 2012, the Board received a complaint about Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd.’s (the licensee) planned road building and harvesting for cutting permit 40 (three cutblocks) in the Duhamel Creek community watershed. The complainant was concerned that harvesting and road building would increase the risk of flooding and debris flows, which could potentially damage property, reduce water quality and endanger the lives of residents of the Duhamel Creek alluvial fan.

Duhamel Creek frequently experiences natural disturbances. The presence and influence of historical landslides and other erosion events are evident throughout the length of Duhamel Creek. The valley sidewalls and streambeds have been eroded over time by events like avalanches, landslides and debris slides. Some of the eroded material was transported downstream, particularly in extreme run-off events, where it settled and created the Duhamel alluvial fan.

The Board conducted a limited scope compliance audit of BC Hydro’s OLTCs L48655, L48700, L48750 and L48751, in which all fire protection activities carried out between January 1, 2011, and June 5, 2013, were included. These activities and associated planning were assessed for compliance with the Wildfire Act and related regulations.

On December 20, 2012, a Director of the Regional District of Columbia Shuswap complained to the Forest Practices Board about proposed harvesting in an area covered by the Begbie Falls Integrated Resources Plan (BFIRP).

The director was concerned that forestry activities of Stella-Jones (the licensee) were not consistent with the BFIRP; that residents of Revelstoke and the area adjacent to the proposed development did not have adequate opportunity to comment on the harvest proposal; and that the harvesting was proposed within a FireSmart demonstration area, which had just been treated to reduce wildfire risk.