An audit of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and timber sale licence (TSL) holders in the Burns Lake Field Unit portion of BCTS’s Babine Business Area found compliance with B.C.’s forestry legislation, with two exceptions, according to the audit report.
“BCTS complied with requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. However, auditors found two bridges had guardrails that needed repair and several TSL holders’ fire hazard assessment practices require improvement,” said Kevin Kriese, board chair, Forest Practices Board.
“The guardrails on the bridges had been identified for repair, but the work was not undertaken, which is a non-compliance,” Kriese said. “Some timber sale licensees did not conduct a formal fire hazard assessment following logging, although they did abate any hazards as a matter of practice. As a result, this was considered an area requiring improvement.”
All other planning and practices were in full compliance with the legislation. Since the audit took place, BCTS has replaced one of the bridges and amended its procedures to address both of these issues.
The area audited is between Babine Lake south to Ootsa Lake and from the west end of Francois Lake eastward to Francois Lake Provincial Park. The main communities within the audit area are Burns Lake, Francois Lake, Grassy Plains and Southbank. Over the past two years, timber sale licensees harvested about 333,000 cubic metres from the audit area.
This audit took place within the traditional territories of the Dakelh and Nedut’en/Witsuwit’en speaking peoples.
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.