Protection of scenic views needs improvement

VICTORIA – An investigation of logging impacts on a prominent viewscape in Port Alberni has found that the viewscape was not adequately protected, and that government enforcement was inadequate, according to a report released today.

“The board decided to look into the visual impacts of logging on a scenic viewscape in Port Alberni after board staff viewed the site and had concerns,” said Forest Practices Board chair Tim Ryan. “This is the third board report in 18 months to find failures to meet visual-quality objectives and failures to enforce the legal requirements.”

“Important scenic areas and viewscapes are given special designation by government and logging must meet the assigned objectives for maintaining visual quality,” Ryan added. “These areas are highly visible to residents and tourists. Poor practices and the lack of enforcement by government will only serve to hurt public confidence in B.C.’s forest management.”

The board is recommending that government review its approach to protecting visual resources and make enforcement of the rules a consistent priority across the province. It is also recommending that the forest professionals’ association review and update guidance information on visual quality management for its members.

The Forest Practices Board is British Columbia’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board can investigate and report on current forestry and range issues and make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

More information can be obtained by contacting:

Darlene Oman
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4705 / 1 800 994-5899

September 8, 2016