Two community forest licences held by the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest Corp. and Little Prairie Community Forest Inc. will be audited, starting Sept. 26, 2016.
The auditors will examine all operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture and wildfire protection practices for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
Tumbler Ridge operates next to the town of Tumbler Ridge and Little Prairie operates near the communities of Chetwynd and Moberly Lake, each with an allowable annual cut of 20,000 cubic metres of timber. However, due to the mountain pine beetle infestation, Tumbler Ridge harvested 160,000 cubic metres and Little Prairie harvested approximately 400,000 cubic metres of timber over the last two years.
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 to the public and government.
Community forests are area-based tenures granted to the communities by the Province to foster local control over, and enjoyment of, the benefits offered by local forest resources.
The Forest Practices Board is British Columbia’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 land, as well as appropriateness of government enforcement.