Slocan Park Logging Followed Legal Requirements
Victoria – An investigation into a complaint by a number of Slocan Park residents about logging of four cutblocks above the community has found that BCTS acted appropriately in planning and overseeing the proposed logging and road building.
“Our investigation found that BCTS met all the legal requirements, and in fact did more than was required by law in planning these four cutblocks,” said board chair Bruce Fraser.
“However, we recognize that some local residents remain concerned that the legal requirements are not sufficient and they are opposed to any logging in watersheds that supply drinking water. No matter how diligent the work that goes into planning and implementing harvesting, the water users bear the risk and the consequences if something goes wrong. This is an issue that frequently comes up in complaints to the board, and is something the provincial government should consider,” added Fraser.
The complainants were concerned that BCTS had not consulted with them effectively, and that BCTS would not monitor road building and harvesting. The complainants were also worried that the logging would impact water supply, terrain stability, visual quality and fire risk.
The investigation found that BCTS’s consultation methods complied with legal requirements, but were not as effective as they could have been. Appropriate monitoring of the logging activities will take place. The investigation also found that appropriate assessments were carried out and concluded that the likelihood of negative impacts to water quality and viewscapes, and the likelihood of a landslide occurring, are all low. While the fire risk may be elevated for a short time following logging, the risk of a fire occurring is also low.
In response to the complaint, BCTS has since improved it procedures for consultation and sharing of information with the public.
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 is required to investigate public complaints about forest planning and practices.
More information can be obtained by contacting:
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4708 / 1-800 994-5899
January 20, 2010