Interfor Gets Clean Audit from the Forest Practices Board
VICTORIA – International Forest Products’ forest practices in Tree Farm Licence 10 (TFL 10) on the mainland coast are complying with the Forest Practices Code, according to a Forest Practices Board audit released today.
“Interfor’s practices complied with the Code in all significant respects.” said Board chair, Keith Moore. “Overall, this is a good audit result.”
The audit examined timber harvesting and construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads, and the associated planning, carried out on TFL 10 between May 1997 and June 1998. The TFL is located north of Powell River near Toba Inlet. The TFL was selected randomly, not on the basis of location or past performance.
During the audit, a number of old road systems that need to be deactivated or repaired to prevent damage to the environment were identified. Some of the roads are in an area that Interfor can not access. These roads are at risk of deteriorating beyond repair, which would be a significant economic loss for the province. Some deactivation work is scheduled on the roads in the accessible part of the TFL, but more work is required on other roads.
Interfor has not used the roads since the Code came into effect, and is not responsible for maintaining or deactivating them under the Code. The Board has suggested that both Interfor and government need to look into this problem. Similar problems with deteriorating old roads have also been identified in other audits in other parts of the province.
The Board has undertaken nine compliance audits in 1998. The report on an audit of Slocan Forest Product’s operations in the Slocan Valley was also released today, and was also a clean audit. These are the first clean audits of timber harvesting and roads that the Board has seen since it began auditing forest practices in 1996. “These results support the Board’s observations that compliance with the Code has improved each year since it came into effect,” said Moore.
Created in 1995, the Board is BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest practices. The Board 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 on Board activities, findings and recommendations.