Revelstoke Community Forest Audit Released
VICTORIA – Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation has implemented sound forest practices, but must improve its fire preparedness, the Forest Practices Board reported today.
Those findings were the result of a compliance audit of Tree Farm Licence 56, held by Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation (RCFC). This area-based licence is located approximately 50 kilometres north of the City of Revelstoke in the Columbia Forest District. The audit examined RCFC’s operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction, maintenance and deactivation, silviculture, and fire protection practices for the period from July 1, 2002, to July 18, 2003.
“With one exception, RCFC is fully compliant with code requirements,” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “The board is pleased that this licensee made a special effort to help achieve local land use planning objectives, such as managing for biodiversity and caribou, even when those objectives were not legally binding on RCFC.”
The audit did identify significant non-compliance in RCFC’s fire protection activities, including deficiencies in firefighting equipment, fire preparedness training and the fire preparedness plan. While the individual cases of non-compliance are minor, taken collectively they represent a breakdown in meeting code fire protection requirements.
“The auditor and RCFC agree that there was no serious risk of environmental harm as a result of these deficiencies,” said Fraser. “Nonetheless, the board believes that the code fire protection requirements are not onerous for licensees. It is critical to ensure that these basic regulatory requirements are met during fire season, especially considering the increasing risk of fire in many parts of the province.”
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 main roles under the Forest Practices Code are:
- Auditing forest practices of government and licence holders on public lands.
- Auditing government enforcement of the code.
- Investigating public complaints.
- Undertaking special investigations of code-related forestry issues.
- Participating in administrative reviews and appeals.
- Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899
May 18, 2004