As part of its 2017 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Skeena-Stikine Natural Resource District portion of BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) Babine Business Area for audit.

BTCS’ operations fell within several operating areas contained within the Bulkley Timber Supply Area. Outdoor recreation is popular within the TSA, with recreation activities concentrated on the lakes, mountains and parks, including Babine Lake, Hudson Bay Mountain and Babine Mountains Provincial Park.

A field team in Smithers manages activities in the district, where staff prepares operational plans, auctions timber sales and issues timber sale licences and road permits.

In October 2015, the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of Lowell A. Johnson Consultants Ltd.’s forest licence A70026 in the Skeena Stikine natural resource district. Activities took place approximately 35 kilometres east of Smithers, not far from Babine Mountains Provincial Park.

The audit found good practices – Lowell A. Johnson Consultants Ltd.’s operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture, and fire protection activities complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations.

In July 2012, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint that a BC Timber Sales (BCTS) logging operation in the Hunaker Creek Watershed had affected the flow of a seasonal stream, which in turn caused damage to the complainant’s property. The complainant also claimed that the logging operations led to contamination of a well and that the BCTS public consultation efforts were inadequate, both for harvest planning and for notification about burning waste wood piles.

The Hunaker Creek Watershed is small—less than 500 hectares in size—with the portion upstream of the complainant’s home covering 289 hectares. The watershed is relatively flat with a slight northern aspect and elevation ranges from 550 to 600 metres above sea level.

As part of its 2012 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board selected Cassiar Forest Corporation (Cassiar) Forest Licence (FL) A64561 and Coast Mountain Hydro Corporation (CMH) Occupant Licences to Cut (OLTC) L46959, L49021 and L49136 for audit.

Both operations are located in the Skeena-Stikine District. Forest Licence A64651 is near the community of Bob Quinn Lake, which is approximately 380 kilometres north of Terrace. CMH’s licences are located approximately 37 kilometres west of Bob Quinn Lake, within the mid reaches of the Iskut River. The licences are for a run-of-river hydroelectric project and a related transmission line right-of-way.

In July 2010, the Board conducted a full-scope compliance audit of Pacific Inland Resources (PIR).The Board notes PIR’s commitment to work with the community to ensure operations are consistent with land management plans in the area.

This special investigation looked at the level of soil disturbance caused by timber harvesting operations in a sample area of the Quesnel and Vanderhoof Forest Districts. Soil disturbance is important because it is an indicator of potential damage to soil and water. The investigation reviewed the activities of four major forest licensees – Canfor and West Fraser in both districts, Tolko in the Quesnel district, L&M Lumber in the Vanderhoof district – and British Columbia Timber Sales and its timber sale licence-holders in both districts. Forest practices conducted between July 1, 2006, and July 31, 2008 were investigated.

In June 2009, the Board conducted a compliance audit of forest planning and practices of the British Columbia Timber Sales’ (BCTS) program and timber sale licence (TSL) holders, in the Skeena Business Area’s Hazelton operations, located within the Skeena Stikine Forest District.

The audit assessed more than 80 cutblocks and over 700 kilometres of road activities and obligations, as well as operational planning by BCTS.

As part of its 2008 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Skeena Stikine Forest District as the location of a limited scope compliance audit. The Board chose to conduct an audit with a focus on forest service roads (FSRs) that are solely the responsibility of the Ministry of Forest and Range’s (MFR’s) district manager, as well as riparian area management and fish passage at fish stream crossings along these FSRs. After initiating the audit, it was determined that the district manager was solely responsible for only wilderness FSRs within the audit area.

An FSR is a road, including bridges and major culverts, built and/or maintained by the MFR. The FSRs that are solely the responsibility of the district manager are not normally assessed in Board audits of forest companies or of British Columbia Timber Sales.

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.

Lodgepole pine is an abundant species in the interior of British Columbia (BC) and is important to the region’s forest economy. It is present in 9 of the 12 biogeoclimatic zones, occurring in 6 million hectares of forest across the region. Pine supplies as much as 80 percent of the annual timber harvest in some central interior forest districts and comprises 25 percent of the province’s timber supply.

The audit found the licensees operating in the Hallett landscape unit to be in compliance, in all significant respects, with the Forest Practices Code’s planning and practices requirements as they relate to MPB management within the audit area for operational planning; harvesting; road construction, maintenance and deactivation; site preparation; planting; and fire hazard abatement, for activities between September 1, 2002 and September 26, 2003.