Bridges only issue in Ainsworth audit

VICTORIA – Ainsworth Lumber Company Ltd. is generally complying with the Forest Practices Code but needs to pay more attention to keeping logging road bridges in good order, says a report released today by the Forest Practices Board.

The report concludes an audit of Ainsworth’s forest planning and practices for compliance with the code. Ainsworth’s Forest Licence A18690 is in the Kamloops forest district, near Cache Creek and Ashcroft.

The audit examined the following activities, carried out between July 1, 1999, and July 19, 2000:

  • Harvesting of 60 cutblocks.
  • Construction of nine road sections totalling 66.8 kilometres.
  • Maintenance of 514 kilometres of road.
  • Maintenance of nine bridges.
  • Seasonal deactivation of 12 road sections totalling 29 kilometres.
  • Planting of 37 cutblocks, and mechanical site preparation on 29 cutblocks.
  • Regeneration work on 166 cutblocks.
  • Fire preparedeness planning, fuel management and hazard abatement.
  • The audit also examined Ainsworth’s 1999 – 2003 forest development plan and assessed its consistency with the Kamloops land and resource management plan—the higher level plan for the area.

The audit identified deficiencies in the frequency of bridge inspections, the content of bridge inspection records and the scheduling and completion of recommended repairs identified during bridge inspections. The company has repaired bridges since the audit and has developed a system to track bridge inspection and maintenance.

“I’m pleased to see how quickly Ainsworth has responded to our audit findings, even though the individual bridge issues weren’t putting the public or environment in any danger,” said board chair Bill Cafferata.

Ainsworth’s forest licence was chosen for audit randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance. Since the time of the audit, this forest licence has been transferred to West Fraser Mills Ltd.

This is the 41st compliance audit completed by the board. Nineteen audits were clean, meaning the forest planning and practices met code requirements in all significant respects. Twenty-two audits were qualified, meaning there was some significant non-compliance with the code. Most non-compliance was related to logging practices near streams and the construction, maintenance and deactivation of logging roads.

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.

Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964