VICTORIA – Forest companies in British
Columbia are continuing to do a good job at planting and tending new
forests in logged areas, the Forest Practices Board reported today.
The board’s special report is an update to a previous 2003 board
study on reforestation of B.C.’s public lands.
Following the logging of public land, forest
companies are required to reforest sites with native tree species to
establish a new crop of trees. The companies are then required to
tend those trees for a number of years, to ensure they grow into a
healthy new forest by a specified date. Once they reach this stage,
called free-growing, the companies are relieved of their
responsibility to look after the trees and they become the
responsibility of the Crown.
“The board found that 92 per cent of
cutblocks due for free-growing actually achieved free-growing
status, which compares favorably with the findings in our 2003
report,” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “This means that public
expectations for logged areas to be replaced with healthy new
forests are being met.”
The investigation also found, however, that over
half the silviculture prescriptions had to be amended in order to
achieve free-growing status. The reasons for these amendments were
not tracked in the database until this year, so it is not clear why
so many amendments were required.
“The board will conduct a detailed review of
the large number of amendments over the coming months,” said Fraser.
The report also makes recommendations to
government in order to make free-growing reporting easier and more
useful in future. The board examined all cutblocks required to
achieve free-growing between 1987 and March 31, 2004, consisting
largely of cutblocks harvested between 1987 and 1992. In total, over
300,000 hectares of harvested lands were reviewed for the report.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent
public watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with the
Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the achievement of its
intent. The board’s main roles under FRPA are:
- Auditing forest practices of government and
licence holders on public lands.
- Auditing government enforcement of FRPA .
- Investigating public complaints.
- Undertaking special investigations of forestry
- Participating in administrative appeals.
- Providing reports on board
activities, findings and recommendations.
|Erik Kaye |
Phone: 250-356-1586 or 1-800-994-5899