Audit Reports Commendable Forest Practices by Pope and Talbot Ltd.
VICTORIA – An audit report released today concludes that Pope and Talbot’s forest planning and practices on Tree Farm Licence 23 in the West Kootenay complied with the Forest Practices Code.
In its report, the Forest Practices Board commends Pope and Talbot for its thoughtful approach to environmental objectives outlined in the Kootenay-Boundary Higher Level Plan.
“Pope & Talbot have completed extensive work to address mountain caribou habitat needs, as well as forest health issues in the TFL,” said acting board chair, John Cuthbert. “The auditors found that the company is harvesting targeted pine trees susceptible to mountain pine beetle attack, while also meeting biodiversity objectives.”
The audit does raise concerns, however, that government has not identified and mapped certain habitat for grizzly bears. The Kootenay-Boundary Higher Level Plan includes an objective for maintaining important grizzly bear habitat in old-growth forests next to avalanche tracks.
“Until government completes the identification and mapping of this habitat, forestry companies cannot address this objective,” said Cuthbert. The report recommends that government complete the identification and mapping of grizzly-bear habitat associated with avalanche tracks.
Pope and Talbot is certified under the sustainable forestry initiative program and the International Organization for Standardization 14001. For the first time, the Forest Practices Board has incorporated results from an independent forest certification audit into its own audit of Forest Practices Code compliance.
However, the board did not simply accept that these certification programs achieve the public interest. Board auditors examined the certifier’s audit of Pope and Talbot’s systems and procedures and re-performed some of their audit tests. In this case, the auditors found that the certification audit work met the board’s audit standards, and they were able to integrate the independent certifier’s work into the audit. This resulted in cost savings and provided the public with a high level of assurance about Pope and Talbot’s forest planning and practices. The board intends to use this approach with other certified forest companies in future audits.
The audit examined Pope and Talbot’s operational planning; timber harvesting; road construction, maintenance and deactivation; silviculture; and fire-protection activities carried out between September 2001 and October 2002. TFL 23 is an area-based tenure that extends south from Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks and along the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes toward Castlegar. TFL 23 was chosen randomly and not on the basis of location or level of performance.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog, established in 1995, that publishes reports about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The board’s main roles under the Forest Practices Code 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: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899
March 25, 2003