Stacked timber near Cluxewe beside Hwy 19. (Zoe Ducklow photo)

Stacked timber near Cluxewe beside Hwy 19. (Zoe Ducklow photo)

Forestry audit gives thumbs up to North Island and Central Coast operations

Forest Practices Board reviewed one year of activity in the 550,000 cubic meter region

An audit of BC Timber Sales North Island and Central Coast activities showed no significant infractions, the Forest Practices Board reported Thursday.

The audit reviewed activities from September 2019 to 2020 in a large area ranging from the Nimpkish River to the north end of the Island, and on the mainland from Knight Inlet all the way up to Klemtu past Bella Bella.

It concentrated on reviewing operational plans, logging roads, bridges, culverts, harvesting practices, silviculture (i.e. replanting and free growth) and wildfire protection.

Within those categories, companies are expected to comply with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, as well as regional legislation in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Audit director Christopher Mosher wrote that BC Timber Sales and its licencees complied “in all significant respects.”

Auditors spent three days in the field for the whole audit region of over 550,000 cubic meters, inspecting infrastructure and harvesting practices. Additional weeks were spent interviewing BC Timber Sales staff members and reviewing operational plans. The specific cut blocks examined and visited were chosen based on risk to identified values.

Approximately 300,000 cubic metres were harvested during the audit period, within the traditional territory of 16 First Nations, throughout the North Island and Pacific timber supply areas, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Tree Farm Licence 45 near Knight Inlet.

The Great Bear Rainforest Order is a legal requirement for logging companies to follow, stipulating objectives for things like biodiversity, boundaries around riparian zones and protection for bear dens.

BC Timber Sales’ North Island-Central Coast region, and the companies to which it awarded timber sale licences, were randomly selected for the audit. BC Timber Sales is a government agency that manages 20 per cent of B.C.’s annual timber cut.

RELATED: B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

RELATED: Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

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