West Fraser Gets Clean Audit

VICTORIA -The forestry operations of West Fraser Mills Ltd. in the Morice forest district complied with Forest Practices Code requirements in all significant respects, says a report released today by the Forest Practices Board.

Forest Licence A16827 has an annual allowable cut of 713,896 cubic metres in an operating area near Houston, B.C. Operations under this forest licence are carried out by West Fraser and Houston Forest Products Company, which is a joint venture between Weldwood of Canada Ltd. and West Fraser.

West Fraser’s forest licence was selected for audit randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance. The audit examined planning and field activities related to timber harvesting and the construction, maintenance and deactivation of roads between Aug. 1, 1999, and Aug. 15, 2000. Activities included:

  • Harvesting 60 cutblocks.
  • Harvesting 378 small areas to control or salvage trees affected by mountain pine beetle.
  • Constructing of 102 road sections totalling 130 kilometres.
  • Maintaining and seasonally deactivating 736 kilometres of road.
  • Constructing 22 bridges and maintaining 84 bridges.
  • Permanently deactivating 33 road sections totalling 62 kilometres.

“We’re pleased to see this level of code compliance in such a large operation,” said board chair Bill Cafferata. “It’s also worth noting that West Fraser systematically reflected the code’s Biodiversity Guidebook in its operational planning.”

The Biodiversity Guidebook provides forest managers, planners and field staff with a recommended process for meeting biodiversity objectives – both landscape unit and stand level – as required in the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act and Regulations. A copy of the guidebook is available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/tasb/legsregs/fpc/fpcguide/biodiv/biotoc.htm on the Internet.

The audit of Forest Licence A16827 is the 38th compliance audit completed by the board. Seventeen were clean audits, meaning the forest planning and practices met code requirements in all significant respects. Twenty-one were qualified audits, meaning there was some significant non-compliance with the code. Most non-compliance was related to logging practices near streams and the construction, maintenance and deactivation of logging roads.

The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog, established in 1995, that publishes reports about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent.

The board’s main roles under the Forest Practices Code are:

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

Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964