Board to audit range activities on public lands

Victoria – The Forest Practices Board will conduct its first audit of range activities this summer in the Horsefly forest district, near Quesnel.

The audit will look at compliance with the Forest Practices Code, as well as the appropriateness of government’s enforcement of the code for ranching and haycutting on Crown lands.

Under a separate project, the board will also examine how range practices are affecting such things as streams, wetlands, lakes, winter range for moose and deer, and new trees growing on recently logged sites.

The audit will look at 42 range and haycutting permits within the district. A sample of these tenures will be examined on the ground. The audit will assess how well they have complied with the code and how well government has enforced the code. The separate special project will then assess how those practices have affected the landbase.

“Until now our audit program has focused on forest companies and government forestry programs,” said Bill Cafferata, Forest Practices Board chair. “This audit and the special project will examine range lands to give us a broader sense of how these practices on Crown lands affect public resources and whether the code is effective in regulating these activities.”

The Forest Practices Board is required to carry out periodic independent audits to see if government, forest companies and other licensed users are complying with the Forest Practices Code. An agrologist, two professional foresters, one professional biologist and one chartered accountant will form the audit team. They will spend up to two weeks working in the field, starting Aug. 27.

Once the field work is done, the audit team will report its findings to the board. 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 the government.

The board is undertaking nine audits this year, which include one area-based audit, a range audit and an audit of forest practices on Nisga’a lands.

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:

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

Bill Cafferata,Chair
Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964

Nicky Cain
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 387-7964
1 800 994-5899

August 1, 2001