Woodlot road-building did not comply with code
VICTORIA –The BCIT Forest Society incorrectly classified fish streams in a Maple Ridge woodlot, which contravened the Forest Practices Code, the Forest Practices Board reported today. The board notes that, upon realizing its mistake, the society came forward to report the violation, and took appropriate corrective action to mitigate any potential damage to fish habitat.
The board also found the Ministry of Forests did not enforce government legislation appropriately in this case.
The board investigated a July 2004 complaint by the Blue Mountain-Kanaka Creek Conservation Group, who believed that the BCIT Forest Society (the licensee) was harming domestic water supplies and scenic views in the area. The board investigated the complaint, and government enforcement of road building on the woodlot.
“The key finding is that the licensee incorrectly classified several fish streams prior to building a road near the streams. This put water values and fish habitat at risk, although no actual damage could be confirmed.” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “To its credit, the licensee took prompt remedial action when it realized its mistake. Apart from the road-building problem, the licensee’s forest practices adequately protected water resources and scenic views.”
The board also found that the Ministry of Forests did not appropriately enforce road-building practices on the woodlot. “After the licensee reported the problem, ministry investigators considered the wrong regulations, and incorrectly concluded that the licensee had complied with the code,” said Fraser. “The ministry has assured the board that it has since corrected the enforcement problems.”
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.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250-356-1586 or 1-800-994-5899
June 14, 2005