BC Timber Sales audit in Terrace finds issues: Forest Practices Board
August 12, 2022 By Forest Practices Board
An audit of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and timber sale licence (TSL) holders in the Terrace Field Unit portion of the BCTS Skeena Business Area found most forestry activities complied with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, but there were several exceptions.
The audit found that BCTS did not report all its activities to the government’s tracking system on time. It also found that TSL holders had two bridges and three wood-box culverts that were unsafe for industrial use, and one TSL holder did not have a proper fire-suppression system on an active site. All of these findings were significant non-compliance with the legislation.
The report also notes that most TSL holders did not document fire-hazard assessments following logging, a practice that needs improvement.
“The board has previously identified significant safety concerns and non-compliance with legislation related to roads and bridges, most recently in our 2020 report Follow-up Investigation of Bridge Planning, Design and Construction,” said Gerry Grant, member and chair of the panel that considered the audit, Forest Practices Board. “We know that forest professionals and the industry have made good progress in addressing these problems, and we are concerned that this audit does not reflect those improvements. We are recommending that BCTS take steps to help TSL holders improve performance on stream-crossing construction.”
Since the completion of the audit, BCTS has corrected its reporting deficiencies and the TSL holders have removed the unsafe bridges and two of the three culverts.
The area audited is on the northwest coast of B.C. Major communities include Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, New Aiyansh and Stewart. It overlaps the territories of 20 First Nations.
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 the appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
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