In April 2019, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a business owner and an environmental society (the complainants) who requested access to a hydrological assessment prepared for the Bastion Creek community watershed. The assessment was commissioned jointly for BC Timber Sales and Canoe Forest Products (the licensees).
The licensees offered to review the report with the complainants in either Vernon or Salmon Arm. The complainants, are based on Shuswap Lake, were not satisfied with the response. They submitted a freedom of information request, gained access to a partially redacted copy of the hydrological assessment, and were able to review and then submit comments about the proposed developments in the watershed. The complainants were provided with a copy of the assessment and the issue is considered resolved.
In November 2017, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint about impacts to water quality in the Peachland and Trepanier community watersheds. The complainants asserted that forestry activities in the watersheds have negatively affected the quality of drinking water and increased the number of boil water advisory notices, resulted in stream bank erosion and caused a landslide off the Munroe Forest Service Road (FSR) into Peachland Creek.
Forestry activities complied with the legal requirements. There are many developments and activities in these watersheds, in addition to forestry, that can impact the water resource and it was not possible to differentiate between forestry and non-forestry impacts. The investigation determined that forestry activities did not cause impacts on human health that could not be addressed through water treatment. The landslide on the Munroe FSR was not caused by forestry activities and licensees maintained natural drainage patterns and maintained forestry roads consistent with the FPPR.
In November 2017, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a member of the public alleging that culverts at stream crossings on a section of forest road were removed and the channels filled with dirt, causing harm to fish and damage to fish habitat. The complaint also alleges that, despite reporting the situation to government’s compliance and enforcement program several days later, the issue was not investigated until he called back four months later to enquire about whether any action had been taken.
The Board found that damage to fish habitat had occurred and that natural surface drainage patterns were not maintained. The Board also found that government’s enforcement was not appropriate. Although government did investigate the situation, it did not fully consider several important factors, such as the presence of fish and subsequent damage to fish habitat.
In late June 2018, the Forest Practices Board audited the forest activities of Adams Lake under forest licence A89984, in the Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District. This was a full scope compliance audit and all activities carried out since June 1, 2016, were eligible for audit.
Adams Lake complied with most of the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, however the audit noted that Adams Lake could improve its slash piling and burning practices.
In fall 2017, the Forest Practices Board audited the forest activities of 0866740 B.C. Ltd. This company, held by Aspen Planers Ltd., operates in the Cascades Natural Resource District near Lillooet, Gold Bridge, and the Bridge River.
This was a full scope compliance audit and all activities carried out between July 1, 2015, and November 2, 2017, were eligible for audit.
Activities complied with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act but the audit identified two areas for improvement related to fire hazard assessments and visual quality management.
The Board investigated a complaint from a community group about the potential visual impacts of a licensee’s planned logging near Lillooet. This area has visual quality objectives (VQOs), and the licensee’s forest stewardship plan contained results and strategies to meet these objectives. The complainant was concerned that planned logging would not meet the VQOs, and wondered why the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development would issue a permit and why their compliance and enforcement branch would not do something prior to logging.
In planning the logging, the licensee had completed visual simulations and was working with community members to be consistent with the VQOs. This report describes the community member’s concerns, efforts by the licensee and government, and results of these efforts after logging.
The Board received a complaint from two water users on McClure Creek, north of Kamloops, about increased sediment loading in the McClure Creek drainage following harvesting and road construction by International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor). The complainants were concerned that the activities have resulted in a buildup of sediment at their domestic water system’s dam and water intake.
The Board examined the licensee’s forest operations on the ground, and their planning activities at the cutblock and watershed level.
The Board received a complaint from a property owner concerned that Tolko Industries Ltd.’s road construction and harvesting caused sediment to enter Malakwa Creek and damage his water system. The complainant was also concerned that Tolko’s forestry activities damaged riparian areas and water courses.
Tolko adequately addressed the risks of its activities and acted quickly to review and address the complainant’s concerns. The Board concluded Tolko was compliant with the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation. However, the Board could not confirm to what extent various factors, or combinations of factors, played in plugging the complainant’s waterworks.
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.