In October 2018, the Board received a complaint about planned logging in the Glade community watershed, near Castlegar, BC. The Glade Watershed Protection Society was concerned that a watershed assessment was incomplete, outdated, and inconsistent with forest stewardship plan strategies to meet community watershed objectives.
The Board considered whether the watershed assessment is consistent with the expected professional standards, and whether the licensees complied with legal requirements in the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).
As part of its 2019 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected forest licence A30171, held by Cooper Creek Cedar Ltd. in the Selkirk Natural Resource District for audit. This was a full scope compliance audit of activities carried out between September 1, 2017, and September 26, 2019.
Cooper Creek complied with most of the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. However, the audit did find a non-compliance involving an excavator that crossed a bridge that was not rated to handle the weight of the machine, and that Cooper Creek needs to prepare site plans for roads built outside of cutblocks.
As part of its 2018 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Arrow Field Unit portion of BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) Kootenay Business Area for audit. The Arrow Field Unit covers the Arrow Lakes and is approximately 1,350,000 hectares, starting at the US border and stretching north towards Revelstoke. BCTS has several operating areas dispersed throughout the field unit. The communities of Trail, Castlegar, Fruitvale, Nakusp and Rossland are within the field unit.
The audit found that BCTS and timber sale licensees’ practices complied with FRPA and the WA, but also found that several licensees’ fire hazard assessment practices require improvement. While licensees are abating the fire hazard as a standard practice, they cannot demonstrate that they have been diligent in assessing the hazard, which is a non-compliance with legislation.
This special investigation examined whether the roles and responsibilities of woodlot licensees, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, woodlot federation/association, and forest professionals in the Kootenay Lake Timber Supply Area (TSA) are clearly defined and understood, and are being carried out in a manner that ensures the woodlot licensees are complying with forest practices legislation.
Investigators assessed the activities of 15 woodlot licensees in the Kootenay Lake TSA portion of the Selkirk Natural Resource District for compliance with FRPA and the Wildfire Act.