Riverside Forest Products Undergoes Random Audit By Forest Practices Board
Victoria – Today, the Forest Practices Board began the fieldwork portion of an audit of forest planning and practices of Forest Licence A20191, held by Riverside Forest Products Ltd. Operating areas for this forest licence are located in the lower Arrow Lake area approximately 50 kilometres south-east of Vernon and north-west of the community of Edgewood.
This is a limited scope audit that will examine construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads as well as logging and related operational planning activities for compliance with the Forest Practices Code.
The Board’s five-person audit team, consisting of professional foresters, engineers and auditors, will be in the licence area over the next week to ten days performing both office and field examinations of numerous timber harvest areas and sections of roads.
The licence was selected randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance. The Forest Practices Board is required to carry out periodic independent audits to determine government and forest company compliance with the planning and forest practices requirements of the Forest Practices Code.
Once the fieldwork has been completed, the audit team will provide a report on the findings to the members of the Forest Practices Board. Any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings must be given an opportunity to respond before the Board prepares its final report and recommendations and releases it to the public and government.
This audit is one of nine the Board will undertake in 1999. The Board has completed 22 audits since 1996 – 17 forest companies and five Ministry of Forests Small Business Forest Enterprise Programs. Eighteen of these audits have been published. Six were clean audits, meaning the forest planning and practices met Code requirements in all significant respects. The remainder were qualified audits, meaning that there was some significant non-compliance with the Code. Most of the non-compliance related to logging practices near streams and logging road construction and maintenance.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent agency, established in 1995, that provides reports to the public and government about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The Board’s main roles are: auditing forest practices; undertaking investigations in response to public complaints; undertaking special investigations of any Code-related forestry issues; participating in administrative reviews and appeals; and providing reports to the public and government on Board activities, findings and recommendations.
September 20, 1999