Audit of Forest and Range Planning and Practices Affecting Water Quality in Oyama and Vernon Creek Community Watersheds

Safe drinking water is a critically important resource to the people of British Columbia. This audit set out to assess forest and range practices in relation to water quality and fish habitat in two Okanagan community watersheds – Vernon and Oyama Creek. To do this, auditors assessed compliance of forest and range practices with applicable legislated requirements, and the effectiveness of practices in protecting these values, from September 2008 through October 2010.

Auditors noted the efforts made by MFLNRO to address water quality concerns during the audit period. New and replacement range developments were being established but had not yet been completed. However, some problems with the new developments were identified, and auditors were not able to predict the efficacy of developments to be completed after the audit fieldwork.

Overall, the audit showed that range practices need continued improvement to meet legislative requirements and further reduce risks to water quality.