Forest practices

The Forest Practices Board explains its audit process

I would like to respond to a story that appeared in The Morning Star June 5. The article refers to an audit of the B.C. Timber Sales program by the Forest Practices Board and some concerns local residents have with proposed forestry operations on Cherry Ridge.

BCTS Okanagan-Shuswap was randomly selected from all BCTS programs in the province. It’s important for the public to understand that the audit will not look at the concerns raised by local residents.

When the board audits a forest licence, it is examining whether or not the licence holder (BCTS and timber sale licensees in this instance) complied with forest practices legislation for the activities carried out in the last year.

An audit will not look at planned or future activities, nor will it look at any issues beyond compliance with legal requirements.  However, an investigation of a public complaint is a separate process the board can undertake and that process could look at the concerns about planning and public consultation on future activities.

If Cherryville residents file a complaint with the board, we may be able to investigate their concerns and will try to get the residents and BCTS together to resolve the issues.

But residents should not expect that to happen in the ongoing audit of BCTS. For more information on the role of the Forest Practices Board, please refer to our web site www.bcfpb.ca.

Tim Ryan, chairperson

Forest Practices Board