Board to audit Qwa’eet Forest Products

Victoria – The Forest Practices Board will audit the forest planning and practices of Qwa’eet Forest Products near Merritt this summer.

The audit will look at Qwa’eet’s operations on Forest Licence A55525, north of the Nicola River and Merritt and in drainages south of Merritt. Auditors will examine operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture and fire protection activities carried out over the past year.

The Forest Practices Board carries out periodic independent audits to see if government and forest companies are complying with the Forest Practices Code. Qwa’eet’s forest licence was chosen randomly and not on the basis of location or level of performance.

Two professional foresters, two chartered accountants, a harvesting specialist, an engineer and support staff make up the audit team. They will be in the licence area examining plans, cutblocks and roads for a week beginning Aug. 13. Once the field work is done, the auditor will report the results to the board. Anyone who may be adversely affected by the audit results will be given a chance to respond directly to the board. The board will then prepare its final audit report and release it to the public and government.

To date, the board has completed compliance audits of 41 forest companies and Ministry of Forests small business forest enterprise programs. Nineteen audits were clean, meaning the forest planning and practices met code requirements in all significant respects. Twenty-two audits were qualified, meaning that there was some significant non-compliance with the code. The board is undertaking nine audits this year, which include one area-based audit, a range audit and an audit of forest practices on Nisga’a lands.

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:

  • 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

July 24, 2001