Forest Practices Board initiates special investigation on forest practices in areas with streams
The independent Forest Practices Board has decided to initiate a special investigation into forest practices around streams in coastal BC.
The purpose of the Board’s special investigation is to see if forest practices in the field comply with the Forest Practices Code and protect streams and riparian areas beside the streams. The special investigation will involve field assessment of a sample of all six classes of streams on the coast using audit techniques.
The Board’s decision to undertake the investigation comes as a result of public concerns and request from government following the release of a report by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund on February 20. As part of its role as the independent public “watchdog” under the Code, the Board has decided to conduct its own investigation of forest practices in riparian areas.
In making its decision, the Board considered that requirements for riparian management are an important and integral part of the Code. Protection of streams and riparian areas is a common concern raised by the public to the Board and there is significant interest in the riparian provisions of the Code in the forest industry, environmental groups and government. The Board concluded that a special investigation was of general public interest.
Although final details of the special investigation have yet to be finalized, the Board plans to undertake the work in two phases. It intends to complete the first phase, with a report, by late spring, 1997. The second phase is planned to be completed with a final public report by the end of summer.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent agency established in 1995 that provides reports to the public and government about compliance with the Code and the achievement of its intent. The undertaking of special investigations of forest practices is one of its responsibilities. Other important roles include audits, investigation of complaints from the public, special reports, and participation in administrative reviews and appeals.
March 10, 1997