Audit of Plateau Forest Products’ Forestry Operations Released

VICTORIA – Plateau Forest Products’ operations in the Vanderhoof area are generally complying with the Forest Practices Code, according to a Forest Practices Board audit released today.

“Plateau’s forest practices complied with the Code in all significant respects, with the exception of a number of small streams that were incorrectly classified,” said Board Chair, Keith Moore. “Correct classification is important because it determines the width of required riparian management areas and the practices that may occur there.”

“The Board has also seen problems with classification of small streams in other parts of the province, most notably on the coast” said Moore. “Plateau has advised us that it has taken steps to improve its stream classification practices since the audit”.

The audit examined timber harvesting, construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads, and the associated planning, carried out between August 1996 and August 1997 on Plateau’s Forest Licence A18157. The licence was selected for audit randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance.

Plateau Forest Products is a division of the Slocan Group of Companies. Plateau’s operating areas are located southwest of Vanderhoof between the Blackwater and Nechako Rivers. A small operating area is also located near Takla Lake, northwest of Fort St. James.

The audit was one of nine in the Board’s 1997 audit program. Another nine audits were done in 1998.

This is the Board’s third audit of a Slocan operation, one of the largest companies in the province. In August 1998, the Board reported the results of an audit of Slocan’s Radium Division, near Invermere. That audit found operations generally complied with the Code, except for several instances where excess rock was placed on a steep slope below a road during construction (referred to as “sidecasting”). Last month, Slocan’s operation in the Slocan Valley received one of the first clean audits of timber harvesting and road practices. The Board found that forest practices in that licence area complied with Code requirements in all significant respects.

Created in 1995, the Board is BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest practices. The Board reports to the public and government about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The Board’s main roles are: auditing forest practices, undertaking investigations in response to public complaints, undertaking special investigations of any Code related forestry issues, participating in administrative reviews and appeals and providing reports on Board activities, findings and recommendations.

Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964