Audit: Canadian Forest Products Ltd. – FL A15384
Audit of Canfor in Mackenzie finds bridge issues
VICTORIA – An audit of Canadian Forest Products Ltd.’s (Canfor) forest licence A15384 in the Mackenzie Natural Resource District found Canfor’s forestry activities complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, except for bridge construction and maintenance.
One bridge was not properly built and 11 other bridges had apparent structural deficiencies that were not addressed. All of these bridges were on roads accessible to the public.
“The legislation requires that bridges be properly built, so they are safe for industrial users,” said Bruce Larson, acting chair, Forest Practices Board. “The newly constructed bridge did not follow the plans prepared by a professional engineer and was not safe for industrial use. The legislation also requires licensees to maintain bridges, and, if they find structural deficiencies, the bridges must be repaired, closed to users or have signs posted to limit the weight of vehicles permitted to cross the bridge. Canfor did not follow these requirements.”
In addition to road and bridge construction, maintenance and deactivation activities, the audit examined all planning, timber-harvesting, reforestation and wildfire-protection activities carried out between July 2020 and October 2021 under forest licence A15384 in the Mackenzie timber supply area.
“Since the audit, Canfor has responded to these findings in a positive and timely manner by rebuilding the first bridge according to the plans, completing bridge inspections and removing four of the bridges with deficiencies,” Larson said. “Canfor is working to address the remaining bridges with the Ministry of Forests and local communities that depend on these roads and bridges for access.”
The town of Mackenzie is the largest settlement in the area and is approximately 200 kilometres north of Prince George. The audit took place within the territories of the Tsay Keh Dene, Kwadacha Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Takla Nation, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Tahltan, Gitxsan and Yekooche First Nation, and within Treaty 8 territory.
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 and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4705 / 1 800 994-5899