Board to Audit Timber Sales Program Operation
VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit the forest planning and practices of government’s BC Timber Sales program in the Chilcotin Forest District.
The B.C. Timber Sales program used to be called the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program. The audit will look at a number of operations scattered throughout the Chilcotin Forest District, as the timber sales program has no specific operating area in this district. Alexis Creek, about 110 kilometres west of Williams Lake, is the largest community within the audit area.
A number of forest fires are burning in and near the audit area, most notably the 30,000-hectare Chilko Lake fire. That fire is now 100 per cent contained.
Auditors will examine a full scope of forest practices carried out during the past year, including timber harvesting; road construction, maintenance and deactivation; forest protection; silviculture; and operational planning.
The four-member audit team includes three professional foresters and a chartered accountant. They will be in the area examining plans, cutblocks and roads for about one week, beginning Aug. 18. 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 carries out periodic independent audits to see if government and forest companies are complying with the province’s forest practices legislation. Once an operation has been audited, it is removed from the pool of eligible auditees for the next three years.
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.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899
August 14, 2003