The Forest Practices Board has released its annual report for the fiscal year 2018-19, providing an overview of the board’s performance and work from April 2018 to March 2019.
Each year, the board randomly selects forestry operations for audit. In 2018, it published the results of 15 audits.
“Our auditors evaluate whether forest licensees are in compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act,” said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. “This year, four audits found no problems at all, while 11 found issues ranging from failing to comply with requirements for roads and bridges, to not carrying out fire hazard assessments following logging.”
The board also responds to public concerns and complaints about forest and range practices. In 2018-19, the board received 61 concerns and eight formal complaints on topics including water quality, biodiversity and old growth forests, visual quality and wildfire. The board also issued reports on harvesting young stands of trees, management of woodlots in the West Kootenay and the government’s overall approach to conserving fish habitats. Seven other special reports and investigations were in progress as of March 2019.
“The most significant part of our mandate is the ability to recommend improvements to policy, practices and legislation,” Kriese said. “We made six new recommendations last year and received responses to 10 recommendations. We were pleased to see that nine of the 10 recommendations have either been implemented or improvements are in process.”
During the year, Kriese was appointed chair of the board, three part-time members’ terms ended and four new part-time members were appointed. In total, the board published 26 reports, an annual report and two newsletters.
The full report is available on the board’s website: www.bcfpb.ca
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government.
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