Board to Conduct Third Audit of Nisga’a Lands

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will conduct its third annual audit of forest practices and second audit of government enforcement of the Forest Practices Code on Nisga’a lands, beginning next week.

The Nisga’a lands cover about 2,000 square kilometres in the Nass River Valley on both sides of the river about 90 kilometres north of Terrace. The operating areas for the auditees are in various parts of the Nisga’a lands.

The Nisga’a audits will examine compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the Nisga’a Final Agreement by licensees who are winding down their operations 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, as well as audits of government enforcement.

The audits will look at operational planning; construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads; timber harvesting; silviculture; fire protection activities; and district manager obligations for the one-year period from July 2002 to July 2003. 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
Forestry Transition Committee
Kalum forest district (compliance with district manager obligations)
The audit will also examine the appropriateness of government enforcement of the code for the two-year period, from July 2001 to July 2003. The audit will cover:

Kalum forest district
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Skeena region
Ministry of Energy and Mines, Northwest region
The four-member audit team is comprised of three professional foresters, one of whom is also an engineer, and a professional biologist. The team will be in the licence areas for five days beginning July 14. 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 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 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.

Jacqueline Waldorf

Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899

May 7, 2003