The Forest Practices Board is auditing three blocks in Cowichan Lake. (Gazette file)

Forested lands in Lake Cowichan being audited

Forest Practices Board randomly auditing sites in Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni and Port Renfrew

Three blocks of recently forested land in the Lake Cowichan area have been randomly selected by the Forest Practices Board for an audit.

The FPB, B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices on public lands, is examining the activities of some of the licence holders in the BC Timber Sales program in southern areas of the Island from May 29 to June 2.

With its operational presence in 33 locations around B.C., the BCTS program manages some 20 per cent of the allowable annual cut on provincial Crown land.

This audit includes land logged through the program in the communities of Port Alberni, Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan from June, 2015, to June, 2017.

FPB spokeswoman Darlene Oman said two of the three logged lots in the Lake Cowichan area were logged by a private individual, while the other was logged by Coastland Wood Industries.

She said the auditors are examining harvesting, roads, bridges, silviculture, fire protection activities and associated planning for compliance with the province’s Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

“We do these audits randomly all across the province to ensure all participants in the BCTS program are complying with the rules,” Oman said.

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.

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