New Chair Appointed To The Forest Practices Board

March 9, 2010
Ministry of Forests and Range

VICTORIA – Al Gorley will assume the role of chair of the Forest Practices Board effective May 1, 2010, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced today.

“The Forest Practices Board serves as the public’s watchdog on forest practices in British Columbia,” said Bell. “I’m confident that Al Gorley will serve British Columbians with the same level of diligence that Bruce Fraser did over the past six years.”

Gorley is currently a part-time board member, originally appointed in October 2009. His three-year appointment as board chair is effective May 1, 2010.

Raised in northern B.C., Gorley went on to become a professional forester and had a long career with the Ministry of Forests and Range in both operations and management positions in Houston, Prince George and Victoria. He also worked with Forest Renewal BC for three years, first as the vice-president for land and resources, then as the chief operating officer.

Gorley served on the Association of BC Forest Professionals’ Council for four years, including as president in 1992. He is a past president of the McGregor Model Forest Association, was a founding director of the Canadian Model Forest Network, and was a member of the Province’s Environmental Appeal Board and Forest Appeals Commission from 2004 to 2009.

The other members of the board are vice-chair John Dunford of Kamloops, Dr. Rachel Holt of Nelson, Andrea Lyall of West Vancouver, Mike Nash of Prince George, Dave Patterson of North Vancouver and Debbie Zandbelt of Vernon.

Created in 1995, the Forest Practices Board is an independent watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with forest practices legislation. The board’s main roles are:

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

The appointed board members represent a broad range of expertise and experience in forestry and the environment from across the province. Its staff of professional foresters, biologists, accountants and lawyers conduct the audits and investigations and report to the board, which makes recommendations to the forest industry or government.

Media Contacts:

Cheekwan Ho
Ministry of Forests and Range
250 387-8482

Helen Davies
Forest Practices Board
250 213-4708

March 9, 2010