Board Audit Will Examine Practices Around Streams

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will conduct an audit this October looking specifically at forest activities around streams in the Chilliwack Forest District.

Forest practices such as road construction, harvesting, road deactivation activities, and mechanical site-preparation treatments can have serious environmental impacts on water quality and fish habitat in streams. Poor forest practices can erode surface soils, potentially causing landslides that can harm fish and fish habitat and water sources, and can endanger public safety and property.

The Chilliwack Forest District was chosen at random for audit, and the streams focus was identified as appropriate for this area. The audit area covers the Chilliwack, West Harrison, Yale and Nahatlatch draft landscape units. These unconnected landscape units lie south, west, east and north of Harrison Lake respectively.

The audit will examine the operations of International Forest Products Ltd., Teal Cedar Products Ltd. and the BC Timber Sales Program for compliance with the Forest Practices Code and effectiveness of forest practices in conserving stream resources. The audit will look at practices in and around streams in the four landscape units for the period between Oct. 1, 2001 and Oct. 24, 2003.

The audit team is made up of two registered professional foresters, one professional biologist and one chartered accountant. They will be in the area for about 10 days, beginning Oct. 14. Once the fieldwork is done, the audit team will report its findings to the board. Any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.

The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with forest practices legislation and the achievement of its intent. The board’s main roles 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.

Jacqueline Waldorf

Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899

October 7, 2003