This investigation examined a complaint about whether forestry activities in the Prince George Timber Supply Area (TSA) are in compliance with the Order Establishing Landscape Biodiversity Objectives for the Prince George Timber Supply Area (the Order), and whether biodiversity values are being appropriately managed given the high levels of disturbance from mountain pine beetle and fires in the TSA.
This investigation found that the legal obligations of the Order are being met. However, the investigation also identified several concerns with how the government and licensees are managing biodiversity.
On November 28, 2019, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a Prince George resident that Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) is harvesting within a caribou corridor in the Anzac drainage.
The Board determined that Canfor’s development in the Anzac caribou corridors is consistent with the general wildlife measures.
As part of the Forest Practices Board’s 2019 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected non-replaceable forest licence (NRFL) A91154, located near the communities of Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake, for a full scope compliance audit. The licence is held by Saik’uz First Nation and managed by Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd.
The audit found that the licensees’ practices complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
In October 2018, the Board received a complaint from a member of the BC Wildfire Service team that managed the Shovel Lake wildfire, near Fraser Lake. The complainant alleged that logging debris and old, decked timber contributed to the severity and spread of the wildfire. The Board investigated whether licensees assessed and abated the fire hazard as required by the Wildfire Act.
As part of its 2018 compliance audit program, the Board randomly selected the Mackenzie Natural Resource District as a location for a full scope compliance audit. The Board selected community forest agreement K2M for audit, held by McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest Limited Partnership, operated jointly by the District of Mackenzie and the McLeod Lake Indian Band.
The activities audited are located in five operating areas, extending from the Parsnip River in the south, past Mackenzie and north to the Nation Arm of Williston Lake, including the Mugaha Marsh sensitive area. The terrain is gentle to rolling, containing mature forests, comprised of mixed stands of Engelmann spruce, white spruce, sub-alpine fir and lodgepole pine.
All activities complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
In June 2017, the Board audited forestry operations on forest licence (FL) A18171 held by Winton Global Lumber Ltd. FL A18171 lies within both the Prince George and Fort St. James Natural Resource Districts. This audit only includes those operations that took place within the Fort St. James district over a two-year period starting in June 2015. Fort St James is the main community in the District. Major water bodies in the District include the Skeena, Fraser and Peace Rivers, and Stuart, Trembleur and Takla Lakes.
With the exception of one unsound forest practice related to soil disturbance, the audit found that 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 October 2016, the Forest Practices Board audited Chu Cho Industries LP (Chu Cho) NRFL A62375 in the Mackenzie Forest District. The Tsay Keh Dene First Nation own Chu Cho. The license expired on August 15, 2015. This was a full scope compliance audit with a two-year time frame between October 1, 2014, and October 4, 2016.
The operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction, deactivation and maintenance, silviculture, and fire protection activities carried out by Chu Cho complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations.
As part of its 2016 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Vanderhoof Natural Resource District portion of BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) Stuart-Nechako Business Area for audit. The Vanderhoof District covers approximately 1.4 million hectares and contains the communities of Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake. Vanderhoof is surrounded by the Northern Interior Plateau’s low-rolling and upland terrain, forested with spruce and pine. The salvage of mountain pine beetle damaged timber has been a priority during the last several years. BCTS manages its activities from its office in Vanderhoof, where staff prepares operational plans, auctions timber sales and issues timber sale licences and road permits.
The audit found that the 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.
In August 2015, the Board audited the activities of the Fort St. James District Community Forest Agreement (CFA K1D) which is managed by KDL Group. The community forest is made up of three distinct geographic units, with the majority of new development occurring approximately 100 kilometres north of Fort St. James, near Witch Lake.
The audit found that, except for operational planning and culvert construction, the activities complied with FRPA and WA. The audit also identified an unsound practice related to bridge construction and an area of improvement related to fire hazard assessments.
In August 2015, the Forest Practices Board audited the activities of Tanizul Timber Ltd. on the current Community Forest Agreement K4B (CFA K4B) and the preceding Tree Farm Licence 42 (TFL 42), located in the Fort St. James District. Tanizul Timber Ltd. held TFL 42 until the licence was replaced with CFA K4B in 2009. Both TFL 42 and CFA K4B cover the same area and activities took place approximately 50 kilometers north west of Fort St James.
The audit found good practices with the exception of one area of improvement regarding fire protection. All other activities (operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, and silviculture) complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and all related regulations.