Adequacy of the Public Review and Comment Period for Forest Development Plans in the Slocan Valley in the Arrow / Slocan Valley Forest District

In February 1996, four forest development plans were submitted to the Ministry of Forests in the Arrow Forest District and advertised for public review. The forest development plans showed five years of proposed roads and cutblocks for 1996 to 2000. They had been prepared by Slocan Forest Products (two plans), Pope and Talbot, and the Ministry of Forests for operations in the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program. Two organizations based in the Slocan Valley, the Valhalla Wilderness Society and the Slocan Valley Watershed Alliance, asked the district manager to extend the period for public review and comment on the plans by approximately eight weeks.

The district manager did not grant the request for an eight week extension. He did agree to accept public comments for an extra 10 days. In early May 1996, both organizations complained to the Board about the district manager’s decision and complained that he did not provide reasons for his decision.