Board to Conduct Fourth Audit on Nisga’a Lands
VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will conduct its fourth annual compliance audit of forest planning and practices on Nisga’a lands, beginning July 5.
The Nisga’a lands cover about 2,000 square km in the Nass River Valley on both sides of the river about 90 km north of Terrace.
The audits will examine compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the Nisga’a Final Agreement by licensees and the Ministry of Forests 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 audits 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 2003 to July 2004. The purpose is to determine whether the following auditees complied with the code 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 (compliance with district manager obligations)
- Forestry Transition Committee
The four-member audit team is comprised of two professional foresters (one of whom is also an engineer), a professional biologist and a chartered accountant. The team will be in the operating areas for about five days beginning July 5. 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 Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The board’s mandate has been retained under the new Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The board’s main roles under FRPA 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
June 25, 2004