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Forestry licence audits

Inspection checks compliance with legislation

Four community forest licences within the Sunshine Coast Forest District will be audited starting this week. Among those audited will be Powell River Community Forest and the licence held by Tla’Amin Timber Products Ltd.

Forest Practices Board is BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government about compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

The audits will examine operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture and fire protection activities for compliance as well as appropriateness of government enforcement.

Once the audit work is completed, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations will then be released. Chris Mosher, director of audits, anticipates the audit itself to take one to two days per licence and the reports to take anywhere from two to six months.

Community forests are area-based tenures managed by a local government, community group or first nation for the benefit of the entire community. Every year the Forest Practices Board conducts audits in seven or eight randomly selected forest districts in the province. About five other licences were audited on the Sunshine Coast four years ago.

Community forest licences held by Sechelt Community Projects Inc and Klahoose Forestry Limited Partnership are also under review.