Board to audit government’s enforcement in the Cascades Forest District

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit three government ministries to assess whether they are appropriately enforcing forest practices legislation in the Cascades Forest District, the Forest Practices Board announced today.

The ministries to be audited are Forests and Range; Environment; and Tourism, Culture and the Arts. Each of these ministries is responsible for enforcing aspects of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. The audit will take place during the week of March 1.

The areas being audited are located primarily in the Merritt and Lillooet areas, and include the Merritt Timber Supply Area (TSA) and the Lillooet TSA. Merritt, Princeton, Lillooet, Lytton and Gold Bridge are all located within the Cascades Forest District.

The audit will review the enforcement activities, systems and procedures used by government to encourage compliance with forest practices legislation. These activities include risk assessments, inspection of forest operations, investigations of possible contraventions, determinations (e.g., remediation orders and penalties) and follow-up.

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 carries out periodic independent audits to see if government is appropriately enforcing provincial forest practices legislation.

More information can be obtained by contacting:

Darlene Oman
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4705 / 1-800 994-5899

February 25, 2010