From May 29 to June 2, 2017, the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of BC Timber Sales and timber sale licensees in the South Island Natural Resource District. This was a full scope compliance audit and all activities carried out between June 1, 2015, and June 2, 2017, were subject to audit.

All activities complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, with two exceptions—a significant non-compliance related to the safety of new road construction, and a significant non-compliance related to the maintenance of natural surface drainage patterns and the disturbance of stream channels and banks.

In April 2015, Board staff noticed logging near Port Alberni that appeared to exceed the government’s visual quality objectives for the area. After making some initial enquiries, the Board decided to investigate the issue—looking into compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act, the licensee’s consideration of visual impacts, and appropriateness of government’s enforcement.

The Board found issues with the licensee’s management and government’s enforcement of visual quality, and makes recommendations to the government and the Association of BC Forest Professionals.

This is the audit report for woodlot licence W0033, held by Penelakut First Nation (Penelakut). It is 800 hectares in area, all of which is Crown land. The licence is located west of Mount Prevost and south of the Chemainus River. It has an allowable annual cut of 4 200 cubic metres per year. During the two-year audit period, Penelakut harvested about 32 000 cubic metres of timber. Auditors were aware that the licence was in an overcut position and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is addressing this situation directly with the licensee.

The audit examined Penelakut’s planning, field activities and obligations related to:

  • operational planning (including woodlot licence plans  and pre-harvest maps )
  • timber harvesting
  • road construction, maintenance and deactivation
  • silviculture activities and obligations
  • fire fuel hazard management
  • fire prevention practices

This audit examined forest planning and practices on woodlot licence W1632, held by the Halalt First Nation, in the South Island District. The licence is located near Chemainus, west of the Panorama Ridge subdivision and the Island Highway, south of Ladysmith. The licence has an allowable annual cut of 3012 cubic metres per year.

While most planning and practices complied with requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, the auditors found one significant non-compliance.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2013 compliance audit program, the Board selected the South Island District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected ten woodlot licences for audit. This is the audit report for eight of the woodlot licences: W0011, W0020, W1479, W1526, W1713, W1902, W1903 and W1906. Results for the other two woodlot licences are provided in separate audit reports.

The Board randomly selected the South Island District and, from the population of licences within the forest district, noted that woodlot licences had not been audited in recent years. The individual woodlot licences were selected based on the level of harvest activity occurring between February 2011 and June 2013, and not on past performance or geographic location. The Board selected all woodlot licences with a cut of greater than 5000 cubic metres since February 2011.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2011 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the South Island District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 54 for audit. Since March 2007, this licence has been held by MaMook Natural Resources Limited (MaMook), owned by a partnership of the Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Toquaht and Ucluthaht First Nations called the MaMook Development Corporation.

TFL 54 is an area-based licence located on the west side of Vancouver Island in the Clayoquot Sound region near Tofino and Ucluelet, as well as near the First Nations communities of Ahousaht, Esowista, Opitsaht, Hot Springs Cove, and Itatsoo. MaMook works in a complex planning environment and must address the Land Use Objectives for Clayoquot Sound, in addition to the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

In the fall of 2009, the Forest Practices Board conducted a special investigation into how well forest companies are meeting their obligations to maintain roads and bridges under the Forest and Range Practices Act. The investigation took place in the Campbell River, South Island and Squamish forest districts in the Coast Forest Region.

The Board looked at how road maintenance obligations were being met by 8 licensees holding road permit tenures associated with 11 forest licences. The licensees were Aat’uu Forestry Limited Partnership and TimberWest Forest Corporation in the Campbell River Forest District; Coulson Forest Products Ltd. and Teal-Jones Group in the South Island Forest District; and C.R.B. Logging Co. Ltd., Northwest Squamish Forestry Ltd., Squamish Mills Ltd. and Halray Logging Ltd. in the Squamish Forest District.

This investigation brings attention to the special value of trees of exceptional size or form, age or historical significance. Such trees, and sometimes the forest stands that contain them, having withstood the ravages of time over many centuries, can inspire awe and reverence, a sense of spirituality and connection to past events. Descriptors such as mammoth, heritage, cathedral-like, ancient, antique and monumental are not uncommon.

In May 2010, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a resident of Nanoose Bay about planned logging on District Lot (DL) 33. DL 33 is a 64-hectare parcel of Crown land near Nanoose Bay containing mature forest and some older veteran trees within the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem. The complainant is concerned about the integrity of the ecosystem and wants DL 33 to be protected from logging. Should logging proceed, the complainant wants to know how wetlands, rare species, plant communities, fish streams, and groundwater values on DL 33 will be protected.

In February 2010, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a resident of Nanoose Bay about forest practices in the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem (CDF). The complainant is concerned about these issues:

  • Whether government is abiding by an earlier commitment not to issue new forest tenures in the CDF.
  • That district lot (DL) 33, a 64-hectare parcel of Crown land near Nanoose Bay, was not selected for ecosystem protection.
  • The apparent lack of public consultation about proposed logging on DL 33.
  • Whether government is adequately protecting the CDF ecosystem.