Audit of enforcement in Columbia Forest District shows good results
VICTORIA – An audit of enforcement of forest practices legislation in the Columbia Forest District concludes that government’s enforcement was appropriate, according to a report released today.
In the audit report, the board commends the Ministry of Forests and Range (MFR) staff in the district for their good compliance and enforcement practices during the audit period. They completed a large number of inspections, demonstrating that they were out on the ground, extensively monitoring forest activities. They also conducted numerous investigations and took appropriate enforcement actions when problems were identified.
The audit also examined the enforcement component of government’s new resource management co-ordination project (RMCP) in the district. RMCP applies available compliance and enforcement resources across several natural resource agencies to government’s priorities for monitoring and enforcement.
“The RMCP initiative had been implemented for only six months when the audit occurred, so more time and assessments in other areas of the province are required to judge its efficacy,” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “However, the audit did find that the joint agency initiative has helped to resolve gaps in compliance monitoring of recreation sites and trails in this district.”
The ministries audited were Forests and Range; Environment; and Tourism, Culture and the Arts. Each of these ministries is responsible for enforcing aspects of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Enforcement activities from Sept. 1, 2007, until Oct. 8, 2009 were audited.
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board carries out periodic independent audits to see if government is appropriately enforcing provincial forest practices legislation.
More information can be obtained by contacting:
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4708 / 1-800 994-5899
March 19, 2010