Two Fraser Valley Woodlots Investigated by Forest Practices Board

VICTORIA – Investigations of two woodlots in Maple Ridge for forest management practices, following complaints from the public, have now been completed, the Forest Practices Board reported today.

The investigation of the 276-hectare BCIT Forest Society woodlot near Kanaka Creek concluded that the woodlot’s streamside management, and erosion and sediment control activities are appropriate. The investigation of Blue Mountain Woodlot Limited’s 400-hectare woodlot on Blue Mountain concluded that a government-created recreation strategy should be finished to help resolve recreational use conflicts at the woodlot.

“Our investigation of the BCIT Forest Society woodlot determined that management meets, and sometimes exceeds, legal requirements for streamside protection. A public concern was whether woodlot activities would protect habitat for Pacific water shrew, a species at risk. The woodlot is not obliged to manage for Pacific water shrew, nonetheless, it currently comes close to what government could require,” said board vice-chair Geoff Battersby.

“At Blue Mountain, our investigation found that competing recreational uses and population growth around Maple Ridge are indeed stressing the land,” he said, “and while the woodlot manager has no authority to restrict recreational use on Crown land, the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and the Arts can and should work with recreational users to finalize and implement the recreational management plan that was initiated in 2003.”

Both woodlots are part of the 4,400-hectare Blue Mountain provincial forest, which has seen a substantial increase in recreational traffic as the population of the Fraser Valley has expanded.

The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the achievement of its intent. The board’s main roles under FRPA are:

  • Auditing forest practices of government and licence holders on public lands.
  • Auditing government enforcement of FRPA.
  • Investigating public complaints.
  • Undertaking special investigations of forestry issues.
  • Participating in administrative appeals.
  • Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.

Helen Davies

Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250-356-1699 or 1-800-994-5899

August 2, 2006