Good Forest Practices Found in Four Audits

VICTORIA – The trend towards better forest practices continues, as seen in four seperate Audit reports released by the Forest Practices board today.

Operations in all four forest licences met the requirements of the Forest Practices Code in all significant respects. They are Tembec Industries Inc.’s forest licence in the Kootenay Lake forest district, the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative’s forest licence in the South Island forest district, Qwa’eet Forest Products Ltd.’s forest licence in the Merritt forest district and RFP Timber Ltd.’s forest licence in the Chilcotin forest district.

“These audits, all conducted this year, show good results and support the board’s findings that forest practices in the province continue to improve,” said board chair Bill Cafferata. “Any instances of non-compliance were few in number and minor in nature.”

Not all of the audit areas had higher level land-use plans in place to guide forest operations. Those plans that were in place were not always clear enough to direct operational planning and practices adequately. As a result, these audits were unable to assess whether the forest development plans were consistent with higher level plans, or where there is no higher level plan, whether all forest resources were adequately protected.

“Having these higher level plans to guide forest development plans is essential so we can be sure forest practices are carried out in a way that achieves the public’s expectation for sound management of our forested lands,” said Cafferata.
The Forest Practices Board carries out periodic independent audits to determine if government and forest companies are complying with the Forest Practices Code. The forest licences were chosen randomly and not on the basis of location or level of performance. All audits looked at operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture and fire protection activities over a period of one year.

The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog, established in 1995, that publishes reports about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent.
The board’s main roles under the Forest Practices Code are:

  • Auditing forest practices of government and licence holders on public lands.
  • Auditing government enforcement of the code.
  • Investigating public complaints.
  • Undertaking special investigations of code-related forestry issues.
  • Participating in administrative reviews and appeals.
  • Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.

Bill Cafferata

Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964

Jacqueline Waldorf

Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 387-7964
1 800 994-5899