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.
In November 2019, the Board received a complaint about damage to a licensed waterworks on Bernard Creek, approximately 30 kilometres north of Riondel in the West Kootenays. A resident of a private campground alleged that maintenance work on the Bernard Creek Forest Service Road, completed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), caused landslides that damaged licensed waterworks and caused slope instability. The Board considered whether road maintenance completed by FLNRORD in 2015 complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act.
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.
In October 2018, the Board received a complaint about planned logging in the Glade community watershed, near Castlegar, BC. The Glade Watershed Protection Society was concerned that a watershed assessment was incomplete, outdated, and inconsistent with forest stewardship plan strategies to meet community watershed objectives.
The Board considered whether the watershed assessment is consistent with the expected professional standards, and whether the licensees complied with legal requirements in the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).
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.
In February 2018, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from residents of East Thurlow Island about forest planning for old forest and red- and blue-listed plant communities in the Great Bear Rainforest. The complainants believed that TimberWest’s planning did not meet the intent of the Great Bear Rainforest Order, and that it favored the harvest of timber over the conservation of ecological integrity.
The Board concludes TimberWest is meeting the intent of the Order on East Thurlow Island.
A professional biologist with black bear expertise submitted a complaint on April 8, 2019, asserting that black bear dens in large diameter, old trees are being lost to harvesting old growth forests on Vancouver Island. The complainant is concerned that the declining availability of large trees will eventually affect population numbers.
The Board concluded that there is uncertainty in terms of the population status of black bears on Vancouver Island.
On September 9, 2019, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint from a resident of Kitwanga. The complainant is concerned that planned harvesting of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) timber sale license A52734 Block 001 will damage valuable mushroom habitat. The complaint considered BCTS’s legal obligations under the Forest and Range Practices Act and investigated whether public consultation was appropriate.
The Forest Practices Board determined that the approach taken by BCTS to manage pine mushroom habitat met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act. BCTS’s consultation efforts were also appropriate.
The Forest Practices Board received a complaint that asserted harvesting by Huu-ay-aht Forestry Limited Partnership near Bamfield was not consistent with the visual quality objective for the area and furthermore, that government enforcement was not appropriate. The complaint was resolved.
In May 2018, the Forest Practices Board received a complaint that asserted recent harvesting in a watershed had increased peak flows and in combination with inadequate road maintenance by Interfor and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) caused damage to Yates Creek, Yates Creek Road and his private property. The complaint was resolved.