Forest Practices Board Audits Small Business Forest Enterprise Program

Victoria – Today, the Forest Practices Board began an audit of the Arrow Forest District’s Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP). The SBFEP operates throughout the Arrow District, which is centred around the Arrow Lakes and the Columbia River, and has four main operating areas near Whatshan Creek, Trout Lake, Blueberry Creek and Eagle Creek.

The audit will examine recent timber harvesting, road construction, maintenance and deactivation activities and operational planning for compliance with the Forest Practices Code.

The Board’s audit is being conducted by a team of five, including professional foresters and auditors. The team will be in the licence area over the next two weeks performing office and field examinations of numerous timber harvest areas and many kilometres of roads.

The licence was selected randomly, not on the basis of location or past performance. The Forest Practices Board is required to carry out periodic independent audits to determine government and forest company compliance with the planning and forest practices requirements of the Forest Practices Code. This is the last of nine compliance audits the Board is undertaking in 1998.

Once the field work has been completed, the audit team will provide a report on the findings to the members of the Forest Practices Board. The Board will then prepare its report and recommendations. Any party that may be adversely affected by the Board’s report must be given an opportunity to respond before the report is finalized and released to the public and the government.

This is Board’s second audit in the Arrow Forest District. Earlier this summer, Slocan Forest Products’ forest license was randomly selected for audit. That report has not yet been completed.

The Forest Practices Board is an independent agency established in 1995 that provides reports to three ministers and the public about compliance with the Code and the achievement of its intent. Auditing of forest practices and the appropriateness of government enforcement under the Code is one of its key roles. Other important responsibilities include investigating public complaints; conducting special investigations of any Code related forestry issues; participating in administrative reviews and appeals; and providing reports to the public and government on Board activities, findings and recommendations.

Forest Practices Board
Phone: (250) 387-7964

September 21, 1998