Final Report on Complaint Investigation
The Forest Practices Board has released a final report which concludes the investigation of a complaint filed with the Board in late 1995.
This is the first major investigation report completed by the Board since the Code came into effect on June 15, 1995.
The complaint was about the September 1995 approval of logging in three cutblocks in a timber sale on Mount Elphinstone in the Sunshine Coast Forest District of the Vancouver Forest Region. The complainant asserted that the logging was within an area where an extremely rare, probably endangered, species of Tricholoma mushroom had been found.
In investigating the complaint, the Forest Practices Board reviewed the preparation and approval of silviculture prescriptions which allowed the logging in the three cutblocks. The Board considered whether the actions of the District Manager, who was responsible for the prescriptions, met the requirements of the Forest Practices Code and whether the process of preparation and approval was fair and reasonable.
In the Final Report, the Board concludes that the District Manager met the requirements of the Code but the process of preparing and approving the silviculture prescriptions was flawed.
On July 2, 1996, the Board issued an Interim Report to clarify matters arising from this investigation which may have had a bearing on the decisions about whether logging could begin again. The Interim Report is Appendix 1 to the Final Report.
In its final report, the Board recommends:
- extending the timber sale by the length of time that logging has been delayed;
- ensuring adequate opportunities exist for consideration of substantial information about biological values that become available after normal public review and comment deadlines have passed;
- amending Section 40 of the Forest Practices Code Act;
- clarifying interpretation of the Biodiversity Guidebook;
- keeping records of how substantial submissions provided before the final preparation of plans are considered; and
- recording the reasons for decisions not to include actions to accommodate forest resources that have been identified in substantial submissions.
Investigation of complaints from the public is one of the Forest Practices Board’s roles under the Forest Practices Code. Other important roles include audits, special investigations, special reports, and participation in reviews and appeals of Code decisions.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964
August 20, 1996