Forest Practices Board Audits Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. Forestry Operations
Victoria – Today, the Forest Practices Board began an audit of Forest Licence A18671, held by Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. The operating area for this licence is in the South Okanagan on both sides of Okanagan Lake close to Westbank, Naramata and Summerland, as well as south of that area around Keremeos.
The audit will examine logging roads and timber harvesting, and the related operational planning, for compliance with the Forest Practices Code.
The Board’s six-person audit team will be in the licence area over the next three weeks performing office and field examinations of numerous timber harvest areas and many kilometres of roads.
The licence was selected randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance. The Forest Practices Board is required to carry out periodic independent audits to determine government and forest company compliance with the planning and forest practices requirements of the Forest Practices Code.
Once the fieldwork has been completed, the audit team will provide a report on the findings to the members of the Forest Practices Board. Any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings must be given an opportunity to respond before the Board prepares its final report and recommendations and releases it to the public and the government.
To date, the Board has completed 22 audits-17 forest companies and five Ministry of Forests Small Business Forest Enterprise Programs. Sixteen of these audits have been completed and published. Six were clean audits, meaning the forest planning and practices met Code requirements in all significant respects. The remainder were qualified audits, meaning that there was some significant non-compliance with the Code. Most of the non-compliance related to logging practices near streams and logging road construction and maintenance. The Board plans to undertake nine new compliance audits in 1999.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent agency, established in 1995, that provides reports to the public and government about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The Board’s main roles are: auditing forest practices; undertaking investigations in response to public complaints; undertaking special investigations of any Code related forestry issues; participating in administrative reviews and appeals; and providing reports to the public and government on Board activities, findings and recommendations.
June 14, 1999