An audit of BC Timber Sales and timber sale licence holders in the Arrow Field Unit of the Kootenay Business Area found general compliance with B.C.’s forestry legislation, according to a report.
“BCTS complied with requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act; however, auditors found that the TSL holders did not conduct required fire hazard assessments after logging,” said Kevin Kriese, Forest Practices Board chair. “They did remove slash that could pose a fire hazard as a standard operating practice, and so the lack of hazard assessments is an area of improvement for the future.
“Unfortunately, lack of documented fire hazard assessments has been a recurring issue in our audits. We have previously published information for licensees on hazard assessment requirements. It is important to prepare a hazard assessment because it allows a professional to assess the fuel on-site after logging and make sure the appropriate abatement is carried out.”
The board examined forestry activities carried out between June 2017 and June 2018. During this period, BCTS built 37.8 kilometres of road and four bridges, and had maintenance obligations for 734 kilometres of road, 51 bridges and 11 major culverts. TSL holders constructed and maintained 46 kilometres of road and one bridge, and harvested 1,162 hectares of timber. Planting and stand-tending activities were also examined.
The Arrow Field Unit covers the Arrow Lakes and is approximately 1,350,000 hectares, starting at the U.S. border and stretching north toward Revelstoke. Over the past year, timber sale licensees harvested about 260,000 cubic metres from timber sales in the Whatshan Lake, Barnes Creek, Perry Ridge and Beaton Arm areas.
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. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation. BC Timber Sales was randomly selected for audit.