Board to Audit Forestry and Range near Hazelton

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will conduct a Forest Practices Code audit next month, west of Hazelton in the Kispiox forest district.

The audit will look at all code-regulated activities in the selected area, including government enforcement. Operators to be audited include the Ministry of Forests small business program, a number of major forest licence-holders, several range tenures and as many as eight Crown woodlots.

Auditors will look at a wide range of forest practices, including logging; road construction, maintenance and deactivation; fire protection; range activities; silviculture; and planning. They will also examine enforcement of the code by the ministries of Forests, and Water, Land and Air Protection.

The audit area makes up the western part of the Kispiox forest district. It covers about 570,000 hectares, predominantly west and south of the Skeena River. The economic downturn in the area, resulting from the uncertainty around Skeena Cellulose, has resulted in an unusually low level of forest activities in the last year. The audit area was chosen randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance.

The eight-member audit team of professional foresters, a chartered accountant and a professional engineer will spend two weeks working in the field. 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 the government.

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.

Chris Mosher
Director, Audits
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 387-7964
1 800 994-5899

Steve Hughes
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 387-7964
1 800 994-5899

June 24, 2002