Okanagan Indian Band gets clean audit for fire-timber salvage
VICTORIA – The Okanagan Indian Band’s salvage of fire-damaged timber complied with forest practices legislation in all significant respects, the Forest Practices Board reported today.
The Okanagan Indian Band was awarded a non-replaceable forest licence to harvest fire-damaged timber from the Okanagan Mountain Park fire near Kelowna and the Cedar Hill Fire near Falkland. The fires burned in the summer and fall of 2003.
“Despite the need for prompt harvesting to avoid the deterioration of quality in fire-damaged timber, the Okanagan Indian Band and their contractors were able to achieve full compliance with legislative requirements for planning and forest practices,” said board vice-chair Geoff Battersby. “Government agencies also helped expedite the process by providing timely direction and guidance for the fire salvage.”
The board conducted a full-scope audit of the Okanagan Indian Band’s licence, including planning; timber harvesting; road construction, maintenance and deactivation; silviculture; and fire protection activities. The audit examined all activities that took place between December 4, 2003, and July 25, 2004.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The board’s mandate has been retained under the new Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The board’s main roles under FRPA are:
- Auditing forest practices of government and licence holders on public lands.
- Auditing government enforcement of FRPA.
- Investigating public complaints.
- Undertaking special investigations of forestry issues.
- Participating in administrative appeals.
- Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.
This news release and more information about the board are available on the Forest Practices Board Web site atwww.fpb.gov.bc.ca or by contacting:
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250-356-1586 or 1-800-994-5899
January 11, 2005