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Audit uncovers problems with timber sales program on Island

Jul 06 2012

An audit of a program created by the provincial government to revitalize the forest industry has found instances of non-compliance with regulations.

B.C. Timber Sales program, active in 12 "business areas" around the province, did not comply with some rules in the Strait of Georgia area, which includes land around Campbell River.

Examples include allowing sediment into fish-bearing streams, failing to maintain natural drainage of streams and not having sufficient fire-suppression measures in place.

"While the auditors did not find evidence of significant environmental harm at the time, these practices increase the risk of damage to resources and the environment occurring," said Al Gorley, chairman of the Forest Practices Board, in a statement.

Gorley said non-compliance issues regarding the Timber Sales program are not common. "The board has conducted well over 100 compliance audits since 1996, including more than 20 audits of BCTS operations, and typically finds very few problems," he said. "This is an exception."

BCTS officials have committed to dealing with the concerns raised. The audit was conducted in July 2010.

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