The Forest Practices Board begins its audit of the forest practices of the McBride Community Forest Corporation and the Valemount Community Forest Company Ltd. this week.
The audit will examine operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire preparedness and fire hazard abatement for compliance with forest practices legislation.
The audits are random and field-based says Darlene Oman, Director of Communications for the board. Audits can examine any aspect or combination of aspects of forest practices. The audits examine and provide assurance on whether forest practices are achieving the government’s objectives and are in line with provincial legislation.
“The auditors have a look at all of the forestry activities that have been going on in the district in the last year or two and then identify a license they are going to audit.”
She says they chose to audit the community forests partly due to the fact that there has been a lot of activity under their licenses in recent years. Oman says once an audit is completed, the operation is taken out of the random selection pool for about five years.
Once the audit is completed, a report will be prepared, and any party adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations are then released to the public and government.
Oman says the audits can take anywhere from a few months to a year. When completed the full audit will be published to their website.
The board also investigates complaints and has issued reports on forestry operations in the Robson Valley in the past. This is a separate program from the audits. All reports can be found on their website.