In September 2016, the Forest Practices Board audited range planning and practices on five agreements for grazing in the Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District. This is the audit report for one of those agreements, RAN077749. This tenure is located north of Cache Creek. Results for the other four range agreements are reported separately. The audit involved assessing compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act, including the required content of range use plans and whether agreement holders met practice requirements such as protection of riparian areas, upland areas, licensed waterworks and maintenance of range developments.

The audit identified an area requiring improvement related to the grazing schedule.

In September 2016, the Forest Practices Board audited range planning and practices on five agreements for grazing in the Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District. This is the audit report for two of those agreements, RAN077495 and RAN077496. These two overlapping tenures are located north of Chase. Results for the other three range agreements are reported separately. The audit involved assessing compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act, including the required content of range use plans and whether agreement holders met practice requirements, such as protection of riparian areas, upland areas, licensed waterworks and maintenance of range developments.

The audit identified a significant finding regarding water quality and an area requiring improvement related to riparian areas.

In September 2016, the Forest Practices Board audited range planning and practices on five agreements for grazing in the Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District. This is the audit report for two of those agreements, RAN077532 located north of Barriere and RAN077579 located north of Kamloops. Results for the other three range agreements are reported separately. The audit involved assessing compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act, including the required content of range use plans and whether agreement holders met practice requirements such as protection of riparian areas, upland areas, licensed waterworks and maintenance of range developments.

Both range agreement holders passed the audit with one having an area for improvement regarding documenting changes to the grazing schedule and the other had two areas for improvement related to grazing schedules and riparian areas.

An experienced forest worker was concerned that Tolko had not removed all the trees it felled to trap Douglas-fir bark beetle before the insects emerged and that some of its harvest practices increased the infestation level in ungulate winter range in the Upper Salmon River area.

Douglas-fir bark beetle is normally present at low levels in ecosystems containing mature Douglas-fir but can increase to epidemic levels given the right conditions. Good timber harvest practices can control an epidemic but poor practices can create or intensify an outbreak.

This report examines Tolko’s management of the Douglas-fir bark beetle outbreak, its harvest practices, and if it complied with requirements for ungulate winter range.

In May 2015, the owners of the Sunset Village Mobile Home Park, near Clearwater, complained that harvesting by the Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation increased seepage from a cutbank beside the mobile home park threatening several homes.  As well the park owners were concerned about loss of access to the Star Lake Road.

The report focusses on the impact of harvesting by the Community Forest on seepage beside the mobile home park, compliance with legal obligations, the consideration and management of risks from water flows and access to the Star Lake Road.

As part of its 2014 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Kamloops field unit portion of BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) Kamloops Business Area for audit, located in the Thompson Rivers District. BCTS operates in 30 operating areas in the Kamloops field unit. They are located within the Thompson River drainages and near the communities of Kamloops, Cache Creek, Chase, Little Fort and Barriere and includes Kamloops, Bonaparte and Adams lakes.

The audit identified one area requiring improvement with respect to a TSL holder maintaining natural drainage along a road and trail it had constructed to access timber. Auditors found that the TSL holder did not maintain natural drainage patterns along the length of the road and trail, causing water to flow down the ditch-line and into the forest, where the water and sediment settled on an old trail located 10-metres upslope from a small fish-bearing stream. After the audit, the TSL holder deactivated the road and rehabilitated the trail to restore natural drainage.

In 1999, residents of the Upper Clearwater Valley and the local forest district agreed that the corridor of private and public land surrounding the road leading to Wells Gray Provincial Park had unique values. The values were documented in guidelines in a local resource use plan. The guidelines were endorsed by the district manager, who was pleased about the trust that had developed between business, government and individuals. Little harvesting occurred in the area until 13 years later, in 2012, when the licensee who operates in the area went to the referral group with harvest plans and explained how the plans followed the guidelines. The referral group disagreed. The licensee tried to get comments on the operational plans but the residents’ concerns were more strategic than operational and the residents viewed government as breaking its agreement with them. They complained to the Board that the guidelines were not being followed.

As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2014 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Thompson Rivers Resource District as the location for a full scope compliance audit. Within the district, the Board selected four woodlot licences for audit: W0303, W1434, W1591 and W2070. Two of the woodlots are located near the community of Clearwater and two are located just north of Adams Lake.

The individual woodlot licences were selected based on the level of harvest activity between October 2012 and October 2014, and all woodlot licences had harvested greater than 13,000 cubic metres during this period. The audit assessed all timber harvesting, roads, silviculture, protection activities, and associated planning.

The audit found that planning and field activities undertaken by all woodlot licensees complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

The audit identified one area for improvement related to fire hazard abatement on one of the woodlots.

This is the Board’s closing letter for a complaint filed by a group of residents of the Silver Star Road area, northeast of Vernon.

In March 2014, the Board received a complaint from the residents in the BX Creek watershed regarding the visual impact of BC Timber Sales harvesting across the valley from their homes. The residents were also concerned that they had not been directly consulted prior to the logging and want to ensure they are consulted about future harvesting in the area.

The Forest Practices Board selected West Fraser Mills Limited’s Forest Licence A18694 for audit. In 2010, West Fraser purchased this licence from another licensee. Only West Fraser’s activities and obligations werincluded in this audit. West Fraser administers this licence from its 100 Mile House office. The licence has two operating areas within the Kamloops Timber Supply Area. One operating area is located east of Bonaparte Lake and west of Highway 5, between Logan Lake and Clearwater. The other operating area is north of Vavenby.