Board requests prompt government decision on watershed designation

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board is requesting a prompt decision from the Ministry of Environment on a request for a community watershed designation by water users at Anderson Lake between Pemberton and Lillooet.

The recommendation arose from a board investigation into a complaint by a representative of the water users.  In March 2002, the complainant applied to government for a community watershed designation under the former Forest Practices Code to help protect its water supply from potential damage from forest practices.  Over five years later, government has still not rendered a decision on that request.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Forests and Range approved plans to log in the watershed. The complainant asserted that logging could damage water resources and affect its pending community watershed application. The investigation found that BC Timber Sales Program and N’Quatqua Logging Company appropriately addressed the risks to water and logging plans were consistent with community watershed standards.

“While the licensees involved in this complaint appropriately managed the risks to water, the five-year delay in deciding on the community watershed application is unfair and unreasonable,” said board chair Bruce Fraser.  “The board would like to see quick action by government on this application, and we are asking the Ministry of Environment to report on progress by July 31, 2007.”

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:

  • audits forest and range practices on public lands;
  • audits appropriateness of government enforcement;
  • investigates public complaints;
  • undertakes special investigations of current forestry issues;
  • participates in administrative appeals; and
  • makes recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

Erik Kaye

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

April 19, 2007