Board to Audit Forestry and Range near Princeton

VICTORIA -The Forest Practices Board will conduct a Forest Practices Code audit this July north of Princeton in the Merritt forest district.

The audit will look at all code-related activities in a selected area, including government enforcement. Operators to be audited include the Ministry of Forests small business program, a number of major forest licence-holders, more than a dozen range tenures and some 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 lies in the central part of the Merritt forest district. It extends north from Princeton approximately to highway 97C, following the height of land between Asp Creek and the Tulameen River and Otter Creek to the west, and following the height of land between Rampart Creek and Siwash and Hayes Creeks to the east. Forestry and range activities are prominent in this area, which is also host to a mountain pine beetle outbreak. The audit area was chosen randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance.

The eight-member audit team of professional foresters, chartered accountants 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.

Bill Cafferata,Chair
Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964

Nicky Cain
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 387-7964
1 800 994-5899

June 17, 2002