Pilot Audit of Soil Conservation in the Columbia Forest District
Soil conservation practices effective in Golden Timber Supply Area
VICTORIA – A pilot audit has found that forest practices were effective at conserving forest soils in the Golden Timber Supply Area of the Columbia Forest District, according to a Forest Practices Board report released today.
The audit, which started in July 2006, examined three operators – Wood River Forest Inc. (now called Downie Timber Ltd.), Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., and the Okanagan-Columbia business area of the British Columbia Timber Sales Program (BCTS), and found that all operations were effective at managing soil conservation, with the exception of one of eight BCTS timber sale licence holders.
“The board is pleased with the licensees’ efforts to not only comply with legal requirements, but to also be effective in their management of forest soils,” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “For the one issue of non-compliance, we noted that substantial reclamation work has since been completed to reduce any future impacts to soils.”
The audit looked at practices conducted between July 1, 2004, and July 31, 2006 that were most likely to impact soils. These included timber harvesting, road and bridge construction and maintenance, road deactivation, and site-level planning specifically associated with these activities. In total, the board examined 67 cutblocks, approximately 270 kilometres of road work or obligations, and operational planning specific to harvesting and roads.
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.