Planting problem found in Quesnel area audit

VICTORIA – An audit of BC Timber Sales’ operations near Quesnel found most planning and forestry activities complied with forest practices legislation. However, the audit identified eight cutblocks that were planted with seedlings not meant for those areas.

“This contravenes the government’s limits for the transfer of seed between areas,” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “This is significant because when cutblocks are planted with seedlings that are not native to the area, the local climate may affect their ability to survive and grow into a healthy new forest.”
BCTS has since indicated that they will monitor these seedlings and have corrected the issues that led to the problem.

The board also found some situations of excessive soil disturbance caused by timber sale licencees harvesting on wet soils. This can reduce the future productivity of the site. This practice is avoidable.

The board’s audit fieldwork took place in July 2008, examining activities conducted during the period of July 2007 to August 2008. The audit looked at forest planning and practices of BCTS and timber sale licence holders in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Business Area’s Quesnel Field Unit, examining more than 300 cutblocks and 500 kilometres of road.

The audit assessed compliance with the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, the Forest and Range Practices Act, Wildfire Act, and related regulations, as well as consistency with the Cariboo‐Chilcotin Land‐Use Plan.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

More information can be obtained by contacting:

Helen Davies
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899