Elphinstone Logging Focus (the complainant), an environmental group based on the Sunshine Coast, asserted that several good candidates for wildlife trees in Timber Sale Licence (TSL) A93884 were cut down, while others retained as wildlife trees were of poorer quality. The complainant believes that this practice will result in diminishing biodiversity.
The complainant would like BCTS to retain all good quality wildlife trees and wants government to amend the Forest and Range Practices Act to require a two to three tree- length buffer around dead standing wildlife trees.
The Forest Practices Board received a complaint that asserts that Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) did not adequately consider the impacts of forestry activities on a landslide into Wilson Creek. The complainant is concerned that SCCF did not conduct a geotechnical assessment of the landslide and that fine sediments from it will continue to be transported into Wilson Creek until the slope eventually stabilizes.
The Board found that the landslide was a natural event that occurred before any forestry activities took place. In addition, the licensee had completed a geotechnical assessment that identified the landslide, and also conducted several other hydrologic related assessments. It followed the recommendations in the assessments which are designed to mitigate the risk of sediment entering Wilson Creek. The Board also observed that the toe of the landslide is beginning to revegetate, which will further reduce the amount of sediment from the landslide deposited into Wilson Creek.
As part of its 2018 compliance audit program, the Board selected forest licence A19229 in the Sunshine Coast Natural Resource District as a location for a full scope compliance audit. A&A Trading Ltd. holds the licence, but some silviculture obligations are the responsibility of the previous licensee, Terminal Forest Products Ltd.
The activities audited are located in the Sunshine Coast Timber Supply Area, which is characterized by rugged mountains, lakes and numerous inlets, creating operational challenges for the licensees. The area is ecologically complex, supporting a rich and diverse array of wildlife and ecosystems and is subject to government orders for old growth management areas, recreation sites and trails and visual quality objectives and notices for species at risk, including the marbled murrelet, northern goshawk and coastal tailed frog habitat.
All activities complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
Elphinstone Logging Focus, an environmental group on the Sunshine Coast, complained that cutblocks sold by BC Timber Sales would impact at-risk plant communities and affect the integrity of the ecosystem near Mt. Elphinstone Park.
The Board investigated and determined that the mature forest stands in the cutblocks contained plant communities listed by the BC Conservation Data Centre as being in peril, or of special concern. There are no government objectives protecting the plant communities and BCTS’s protocol for managing species at risk only includes plant communities found in old forest, not the mature forest stands in this area.
The Board made two recommendations to government and BCTS to address the situation.