Audit Finds Good Forest Practices in Quesnel Area
VICTORIA – Forestry operators are carrying out good forest practices in the Quesnel area, but government’s enforcement of the Forest Practices Code could be improved, the Forest Practices Board reported today.
The board examined the forestry activities of Slocan Forest Products Ltd., Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser Mills Ltd., four woodlot licensees and the Quesnel Forest District’s small business forest enterprise program and district-manager obligations. All forestry activities carried out between May 1, 2001, and June 1, 2002, in the Pantage and Snaking draft landscape units were assessed for compliance with the Forest Practices Code. The board also audited the appropriateness of government’s enforcement of the code in the audit area.
“The licensees had additional requirements because this area has been hit hard by the mountain pine beetle, so the high level of compliance with the code is commendable,” said acting board chair Liz Osborn. “We were mostly satisfied with the Ministry of Forests’ enforcement of the code, but found once again that the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection should be more involved in code compliance and enforcement.”
The audit found a lack of inspections by forest ministry staff for district-manager responsibilities and for cattle-grazing activities. The ministry is currently reorganizing its compliance and enforcement program and the board anticipates these weaknesses will be corrected.
The board was more concerned that the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection is not involved in planning, conducting and reporting inspections of code practices, or investigating and making determinations on code non-compliance in the audit area. This is the fourth area-based audit completed by the board, and in each the board has raised concerns that the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection is not fulfilling its commitment to enforce the code.
The audit area covers the Pantage and Snaking draft landscape units in the central part of the Quesnel forest district. It extends south from the Blackwater River and Boot Lake, and east of the Nazko River, to Wentworth Creek.
The audit area was selected randomly and not on the basis of location or level of performance. The audit examined operational planning; harvesting; construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads; silviculture; fire preparedness activities; consistency with requirements of the Cariboo Chilcotin Higher Level Plan; and government enforcement of the code.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog established in 1995 that publishes reports about compliance with forest-practices legislation and the achievement of its intent. The board’s main roles are:
The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog, established in 1995, that reports to the public about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The board’s main roles under the Forest Practices Code are:
- Auditing forest practices of government and licence holders on public lands.
- Auditing government enforcement of the code.
- Investigating public complaints.
- Undertaking special investigations of code-related forestry issues.
- Participating in administrative reviews and appeals.
- Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1340 / 1 800 994-5899
May 21, 2003