Forest Practices Board to Audit West Fraser Mills’ Tree Farm License
Victoria – Today, the Forest Practices Board began an audit of Tree Farm Licence 41, held by West Fraser Mills Ltd. and managed by the company’s Terrace office. The operating area for this licence includes the upper Kitimat Valley, the Douglas Channel to Hawkesbury Island and the Devastation Channel area.
The audit will examine recent timber harvesting, silviculture, fire protection, road construction, maintenance and deactivation activities, and operational planning activities for compliance with the Forest Practices Code.
The Board’s audit is being conducted by a team of eight, including professional foresters, a biologist, a geologist and auditors. The 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 past 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 Code. This is the seventh of nine compliance audits the Board will undertake in 1998.
Once the field work has been completed, the audit team will provide a report on the findings to the members of the Forest Practices Board. The Board will then prepare its report and recommendations. Any party that may be adversely affected by the Board’s report must be given an opportunity to respond before the report is finalized and released to the public and the government.
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 roles. Other important responsibilities include investigating public complaints; conducting 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.
September 8, 1998