TRCF gets clean audit from Forest Practices Board

Trent Ernst, Editor

The Tumbler Ridge Community Forest (TRCF) was recently subject to a full scope compliance audit looking back over the last two years.

According to the recently released audit, the operational planning, timber harvesting, road construction, deactivation and maintenance, silviculture, or fire protection activities carried out by the TRCF “complied in all significant respects with the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Wildfire Act and related regulations. All activities were well done including harvesting fire interface areas adjacent to the town of Tumbler Ridge.”

Community forests are area-based forest tenures that give communities exclusive rights to harvest timber while managing forest values such as recreation, wildlife, water and scenic areas.

Thirteen cutblocks covering 1,338 hectares were harvested during the audit period. Auditors examined seven of the cutblocks, totalling 669 hectares. All the cutblocks were harvesting targeted pine-leading stands. “Harvesting was conducted in accordance with the requirements of legislation and site plans,” says the audit. “Soil disturbance was well managed and within limits. Natural drainage patterns were maintained and individual tree retention objectives were met. TRCF met visual quality objectives on cutblocks that were within visual polygons. In addition, it managed visuals on one cutblock that was outside of a visual polygon, but visible from a popular hiking trail.”

The TRCF planted 16 cutblocks and brushed two cutblocks during the audit period. No other silviculture activities or obligations were conducted or due within the audit period. Auditors examined seven planted cutblocks and one brushed cutblock, and determined that the TRCF planted the cutblocks with suitable tree species and stock. “All planted stock met the chief forester’s seed transfer guidelines and no issues were noted in the field. The brushing was well done on the one cutblock field reviewed. There were no issues with silviculture.