Public Review of a Forest Development Plan
in the Salmon Arm Forest District

Complaint Investigation 000283
August 2001

This complaint is about the opportunity for public review and comment for the 1998 – 2003 forest development plan (FDP) for the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP) of the Salmon Arm Forest District.

The complainant believes that public consultation was inadequate because he did not know that the Ministry of Forests planned to harvest 11 cutblocks in the Blind Bay area until May 2000, even though the cutblocks were approved as part of the 1998 FDP. In addition, the complainant believes that the newspaper advertisements for the public review of the FDP were inadequate because they misleadingly indicated that development was planned in the White Lake area, when in reality it was planned for the Blind Bay area.

The Board decided that the investigation would examine:

  • whether or not the notice of the opportunity to review and comment on the 1998 FDP complied with the requirements of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act and regulations (the Code); and
  • whether or not the opportunity to review and comment on the FDP was adequate.

The ministry complied with the Code in notifying the public about the opportunity to review and comment on the 1998 – 2003 SBFEP FDP.

The opportunity to review and comment on the FDP was adequate. However, in light of the complainant’s expressed interest in the Perris Creek area, it would have been preferable, despite not being a Code requirement, for the complainant to receive direct notice of the opportunity to review the 1998 SBFEP FDP.

The Board notes that the district has taken significant steps since 1998 to improve notices and the public review and comment opportunity. It is now district policy to contact water licensees, including the complainant, by letter to advise them of planned development and review and comment opportunities. In addition, the advertisements for the 2001 SBFEP FDP show marked improvement over the 1998 ads in that they are more visible and understandable. Open houses are also held in more communities, and are more accessible.

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