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.

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.

As part of its 2016 compliance audit program, the Forest Practices Board randomly selected the Okanagan-Shuswap Natural Resources District portion of BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) Okanagan–Columbia Business Area for a full scope compliance audit. The district stretches from the United States border in the south, to the Seymour River/Shuswap Lake in the north and presents many challenges for forestry managers. Notable features include the cities of Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, and Adams, Shuswap, Mabel and Okanagan Lakes, and the Upper Seymour, Eagle and Similkameen Rivers. BCTS operates in 52 operating areas throughout the district.

The audit identified one area requiring improvement with respect to TSL holders not completing fire hazard assessments, and one significant non-compliance related to minor silviculture reporting errors on almost 20 percent of the cutblocks reviewed. However, BCTS is addressing these issues. It has altered its internal procedures to require that the timber sales licensees assesses, records and submits their fire hazard assessment forms to BCTS. BCTS is also implementing a monthly review of its silviculture data to compare and correct any deficiencies between its internal database and the government database.

A local resident in the Okanagan-Shuswap was concerned about the maintenance of the Cooke Creek Forest Service Road (FSR) near Dale Lake. In May 2014, Dale Lake, near Enderby, overflowed and caused a debris flood down Cooke Creek. The complainant believed that the debris flood could have been prevented if district staff had acted on his warnings about maintenance of the culverts at the outlet of the lake. He felt that more attention should be paid to road maintenance.

This report examines whether BC Timber Sales and the district complied with requirements for proper design and maintenance of the stream crossing structures on the Cooke Creek FSR at Dale Lake and whether they responded adequately to the complainant’s concerns.