Amending Prescriptions for Achieving Free-Growing Forests


Reforesting Amendments Appropriate, Board finds

VICTORIA – Forest companies are making reasonable and appropriate amendments to their free-growing strategies, the Forest Practices Board reported today.

Following the logging of public land, forest companies are required to reforest sites with native tree species to establish a new crop of trees. The companies are then required to tend those trees for a number of years, to ensure they grow into a healthy new forest by a specified date. Once they reach this stage, called free-growing, the companies are relieved of their responsibility to look after the trees and they become the responsibility of the Crown.

Earlier board reports showed good performance by licensees in meeting free-growing standards, but also found a high number of amendments to free-growing plans.  The special investigation reviewed a sample of amendments in the Prince George, Quesnel and North Island Central Coast forest districts.

The board found that, excluding the 22 per cent of amendments where there was insufficient information to draw a conclusion, 94 per cent of the amendments surveyed were reasonable.  The amendments surveyed had little or no impact on timber values.

“Regenerating a complex forest ecosystem is not an exact science, and conditions are always changing on the ground,” said board chair Bruce Fraser.  “For example, amendments to account for new information on ecological suitability of species or varying site conditions represent sound stewardship of the forest resource.  The board is satisfied that the amendments are appropriate and will not be investigating this matter any further.”

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.

Erik Kaye

Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250-356-1586 or 1-800-994-5899

April 27, 2007

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