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Forest Practices Board releases Campbell River audit results

DCN-JOC News Services
Forest Practices Board releases Campbell River audit results

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – The British Columbia Forest Practices Board (BCFPB) has released audit results concerning five woodlots in the Campbell River Natural Resource District in Campbell River, B.C.

The board found mixed results in licensees’ compliance with legal requirements according to a series of recently published BCFPB reports.

The board audited woodlot licences W0085, W2001, W2004, W2044 and W2046 as part of its 2022 compliance audit program. Auditors examined whether timber harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning carried out from Oct. 1, 2020, through Oct. 20, 2022, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, as well as the Woodlot Licence Planning and Practices Regulation (WLPPR), a government release stated.

Auditors found W0085 licensee Kevco Timber Ltd. had only one area requiring improvement related to annual reporting deficiencies. W2004 licensee, North Island Excavating Ltd., was also deficient in reporting silviculture activities on time and needed improvement related to a lack of fire hazard assessments.

Significant and multiple non-compliance issues were found in the other three woodlots. W2001 licensee Sage Mountain Resources Ltd. (SMR) was found to have significant non-compliances related to bridge construction, bridge maintenance and unabated fire hazards and did not take required steps to ensure two bridges it built were structurally sound and safe. 

An existing bridge was found to have deficient guardrails.

SMR also failed to abate slash piles on two cutblocks within the required timeline, and the cutblocks were in areas of high ignition risk near Highway 19, Camp Bob and the Roberts Lake Resort. The report said SMR has taken steps to resolve the issues following the audit.

“SMR took, or is taking, all reasonable and appropriate actions to address the non-compliances found by our auditors,” BCFPB chair Keith Atkinson said in the release.

Licensee Matchlee General Partner Ltd. (MGP) had significant non-compliances for not meeting a Visual Quality Objective (VQO) and not following its Woodlot Licence Plan for W2044. MGP also failed to comply with a commitment in its Woodlot Licence Plan and a requirement in the WLPPR to achieve the VQO applying to a portion of the woodlot. MGP’s timber harvesting and roadbuilding in this area exceeded the allowable scale and was unnatural in appearance.

Following the audit, MGP submitted a regeneration plan to the Ministry of Forests, which extended the free-growing due date to 2027.

The BCFPB is an independent watchdog organization for sound forest and range practices and reports its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government.

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