Board to Conduct Final Audit on Nisga’a Lands
VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will conduct its fifth and final annual audit of forest planning and practices, as well as its third and final audit of government enforcement of forestry legislation on Nisga’a lands, beginning Sept. 12, 2005.
The Nisga’a lands cover about 2,000 square kilometres in the Nass River Valley, about 90 kilometres north of Terrace.
The audits will examine compliance with forestry legislation and the Nisga’a Final Agreement, by licensees and the Ministry of Forests and Range, on Nisga’a lands. The Nisga’a Final Agreement requires the board to undertake a compliance audit of all existing forest licences, in each year of the five-year transition period (May 2000 to May 2005), as well as audits of government enforcement.
The compliance audit will assess operational planning; construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads; timber harvesting; silviculture; fire protection activities; and district manager obligations, for the period of July 10, 2004, to May 10, 2005. The purpose is to determine whether the following auditees complied with the legislation and with forestry-related Nisga’a Final Agreement requirements:
- New Skeena Forest Products Incorporated, Forest Licence A64298
- Sim Gan Forest Corp., Forest Licence A64299
- West Fraser Mills Ltd., Forest Licence A16882
- BC Timber Sales – Skeena
- Kalum forest district (district manager obligations)
- Forestry Transition Committee
The enforcement audit will examine the appropriateness of enforcement of forestry legislation on Nisga’a Lands, for the period from July 19, 2003, to May 10, 2005, by:
- Kalum and North Coast Forest Districts;
- Ministry of Environment, Skeena region; and
- Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Northwest region.
The five-member audit team will be in the area for about five days beginning Sept. 12. Any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will be given a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) 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 FRPA.
- Investigating public complaints.
- Undertaking special investigations of forestry issues.
- Participating in administrative appeals.
- Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899
September 7, 2005