Forest Practices Board Releases Audit of Cattermole Timber’s Forest Licence
The Forest Practices Board today released the results of its audit of Forest Licence A19202, held by Cattermole Timber of Chilliwack, BC. The licence includes two operating areas in the Fraser Valley: Anderson River east of Yale, and the Upper Nahatlatch River west of Boston Bar. This is one of nine audits carried out in 1997 and is the first to be released.
The audit examined operational planning, timber harvesting, silviculture, forest protection, and road construction, maintenance and deactivation activities carried out by Cattermole Timber between June 1995 and June 1997. “Cattermole Timber’s forest planning and practices were generally in compliance with the Forest Practices Code requirements,” said Board Chair, Keith Moore. “However, there were two significant aspects of the operations that were not in compliance, both of which involve road construction, maintenance and deactivation activities.”
inadequate installation and maintenance of drainage structures to prevent erosion and protect company roads; and
inadequate deactivation of one road system which is causing significant erosion.
The drainage structures, which include ditches, ditchblocks and culverts, are a concern because proper installation and maintenance is necessary to prevent erosion, and the resulting environmental harm, and to maintain the integrity and safety of the roads. Cattermole Timber has advised the Board that they are taking actions to address both of these audit findings.
The audit also identified an old road system on Cattermole Timber’s road permit which is not being maintained and is beginning to cause significant harm to the environment. The Code does not require maintenance or deactivation work on roads that have not been used since before the Code was enacted.
“The Board regards this as a serious issue that requires attention because of the significant erosion that is beginning to occur in this case,” said Moore. “We have notified the ministries of Forests and Environment, Lands and Parks about the problems that we found on this old road system.”
The Board does not have the ability to impose fines or penalties as a result of its audit findings, but may make recommendations. As a result of the audit, the Board has recommended that Cattermole Timber:
repair the problems identified with the inadequate drainage structures;
repair the problems caused by the inadequate deactivation of the North Fork of Siwash Creek; and
obtain Ministry of Forests approval for the proposed repair work before it is undertaken.
The Board will also follow up with the ministries of Forests and Environment, Lands and Parks to see if appropriate actions are taken to address the problems with the old road system.”
The Forest Practices Board is an independent agency established in 1995 that provides reports to three ministers and the public about compliance with the Code and the achievement of its intent. Auditing of forest practices and the appropriateness of government enforcement under the Code is one of its key responsibilities. Other important roles include investigating public complaints; 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.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964
January 20, 1998