Victoria - Slocan Group - Radium Division is complying
with the Forest Practices Code, with the exception of one road
construction practice that involves a small area of Slocan’s
operations, according to a Forest Practices Board audit that was
released today. The one issue identified by the audit occurred where
excessive amounts of rock and dirt were placed on the downslope side
of roads constructed on steep terrain.
This is referred to as sidecasting and can be a concern because
on a steep slope sidecast material may cause a landslide that
results in environmental damage. The sidecast material is also
covering land that could otherwise support timber and wildlife
"With the exception of the sidecasting concern, which involved a
small part of Slocan’s overall road building activities, all other
forest practices were carried out according to Code requirements,"
said Board Vice-Chair, Cindy Pearce. "The Board was impressed with
the overall co-operative approach to forest management taken by the
Invermere Forest District and Slocan. This approach was a major
factor in the effective performance of forestry practices by the
company in this district."
The sidecasting occurred at four sites on two roads built in
steep terrain. The two roads totaled only 4.4 km in length, while
another 59 km of road was built in flatter terrain without
incidence. Although the sidecast material is stable and does not
pose a risk in these locations, the Board is concerned that the
practice might cause environmental damage in the future if it
continues. As a result of the audit, Slocan has advised the Board
that it is revising its operating procedures for road construction
in steep terrain.
The audit examined timber harvesting, road construction,
maintenance and deactivation activities, and associated operational
planning, carried out by Slocan on Forest License A18979 between
August 1996 and August 1997. The licence includes operating areas
north of Radium and east of Invermere.
The Board does not have the ability to impose fines or penalties
as a result of its audit findings, but may make recommendations.
Two other audit reports were also released by the Board today:
Tolko Industries - Nicola Division in Merritt, and West Fraser Mills
Ltd. in Williams Lake.
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