Slocan Division Gets Clean Audit from the Forest Practices Board
Victoria – Slocan Forest Products’ operations in the Slocan Valley are complying with the Forest Practices Code, according to a Forest Practices Board audit released today.
“Slocan’s practices complied with the Code in all significant respects. There is a high degree of compliance in an operating area with eleven community watersheds and steep terrain,” said Board chair, Keith Moore. “This is a good audit result.”
The audit examined timber harvesting, construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads, and the associated planning, carried out between June 1997 and July 1998 on Slocan’s Forest Licence A20192. The licence was selected for audit randomly, not on the basis of location or past performance. Slocan’s operating areas are located on both sides of Slocan Lake, from South Slocan to Nakusp.
During the audit, a number of old road systems that need to be deactivated or repaired to prevent damage to forest resources and water quality were identified. Some remedial work has been done on the roads, but more is required. The roads are not part of Slocan’s forest license and have never been Slocan’s responsibility. Under the Code, no one is responsible for maintaining or repairing these roads. The Board has suggested that government needs to assess the situation. Similar problems with deteriorating old roads have also been identified in other audits in other parts of the province.
The Board has undertaken nine compliance audits in 1998. The report on an audit of Interfor’s Tree Farm License 10 on the mainland coast was also released today, and was also a clean audit. These are the first clean audits of timber harvesting and roads that the Board has seen since it began auditing forest practices in 1996. “These results support the Board’s observations that compliance with the Code has improved each year since it came into effect,” said Moore.
Created in 1995, the Board is BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest practices. The Board 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 on Board activities, findings and recommendations.
November 12, 1998