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Audit of Peace District woodlot finds non-compliance

An audit of forestry activities on a woodlot in the Peace Natural Resource District has found a significant non-compliance with the Woodlot Licence Planning and Practices Regulation, according to a report.

The audit found the licensee misclassified a stream and as a result harvested in the riparian-reserve zones for six cutblocks. Under section 36 of the regulation, a woodlot licence holder must not cut, modify or remove trees in these zones, except in limited circumstances.

“Due to the number of occurrences and the significance of riparian reserve areas in the maintenance of stream health, this is a significant non-compliance,” said Kevin Kriese, chair of the Forest Practices Board. “However, the licensee did meet all other requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and Wildfire Act.”

The audited activities included harvesting timber, constructing and maintaining forestry roads, reforesting logged sites, wildfire protection and associated planning carried out between September 2016 and September 2018.

This audit is part of a larger audit of five woodlots in the Peace Resource District. A report on the results of the other four woodlots can be found on the board’s website.

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.