Victoria - Although Tolko Industries’ timber harvesting
and road practices generally met the requirements of the Forest
Practices Code, certain forest practices in sensitive riparian areas
next to streams were a problem, according to a Forest Practices
Board audit report released today.
The audit identified several instances involving riparian areas
where the Code was not followed. In two cases the Board found the
ministries of Forests and Environment, Lands and Parks had
responsibilities for the non-compliance because they approved the
plans for the activities. The forest practices in question took
place during the period of transition to the Code requirements and
were influenced by a need to control an ongoing outbreak of spruce
In all other respects, Tolko’s forest practices met Code
requirements. "The Board has been advised that both Tolko and the
ministries have changed their procedures since the time these
activities took place," said Vice Chair, Cindy Pearce, "We encourage
them to continue with improvements to protect riparian features
while removing trees to address beetle infestations."
The audit also identified some concerns with the maintenance of
forest service roads by the Ministry of Forests and the Board has
recommended that the ministry address the identified problems.
The Board does not have the ability to impose fines or penalties
as a result of its audit findings. In addition to the recommendation
about road maintenance, the Board has also recommended Tolko and the
ministries make further improvements to their procedures for logging
in riparian areas to ensure the Code is followed in future.
The audit examined timber harvesting and road construction
activities, and associated operational planning, carried out by
Tolko on Forest License A18696 between June 1996 and June 1997.
The licence is managed by Tolko’s Nicola Division in Merritt and
includes an operating area which extends south of Merritt to Manning
Park, and an area in the northeast corner of the Merritt Timber
Supply Area, in the vicinity of Glimpse/Peter Hopes Lakes.
Two other audits were also released by the Board today: West
Fraser Mills in Williams Lake and Slocan Group - Radium Division in
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