Water protection subject of audit in Okanagan Shuswap Forest District

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit how well forest and range practices in the Vernon and Oyama Creek community watersheds are protecting water quality, beginning October 18.

The forest practices of Tolko Industries Ltd, BC Timber Sales and the Ministry of Forests and Range’s small scale salvage program, as well as range practices of three range tenure holders, will be examined.

The watersheds are located next to each other on the east side of Okanagan Lake, south of Vernon, and supply drinking water to the communities of Oyama and Winfield.

The two main objectives of this audit are to assess the compliance of forest and range practices with FRPA’s practice requirements for water, and to assess how well practices are achieving government’s objectives for protecting drinking water.

Once the audit work is completed, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.

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:

  • Audits forest and range practices on public lands;
  • Audits appropriateness of government enforcement;
  • Investigates public complaints;
  • Undertakes special investigations of current forestry issues;
  • Participates in administrative appeals; and
  • Makes recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

More information can be obtained by contacting:

Helen Davies, Communications
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4708 / 1-800-994-5899

October 12, 2010