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West Fraser gets thumbs up from Forest Practices Board for recent audit

The board found WF compliant with the wildfire hazard assessment requirements
West Fraser Mills Ltd. passed their latest audit with flying colours. Photo by Ronan O’Doherty

West Fraser Mills will be pleased with the results of a recent audit by the Forest Practices Board.

The company’s Tree Farm Licence 52 (TFL 52) has met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act as well as the Wildfire Act, according to a report published on March 28.

“The audit confirms our company’s commitment to good forest practices,” says Stuart Lebeck, Woods Manager for WestFraser in Quesnel.

“These values support our business, our community, our employees and partners who depend on what we do in Quesnel. I want to recognize everyone who is part of our operations in TFL 52, we can all be proud of the results.”

TFL 52 encompasses two areas.

The first extends east of Quesnel to Bowron Lake Provincial Park and the second is located 40 km northwest of the city, along the banks of the Fraser River. The annual allowable cut for the TFL is 900,000 cubic metres.

A team of auditors spent four days last October examining operational planning, timber harvesting, road and bridge construction, maintenance and deactivation, silviculture (the growing and cultivating of trees) and fire preparedness activities for compliance with the legislation.

During the two-year audit period, West Fraser harvested approximately 815,000 cubic metres of timber from 123 cutblocks.

It also constructed about 144 km of new road and maintained 3,210 km of road.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government.

They audit forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement and make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

“This is a large operation in the Cariboo, and is subject to the requirements of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan, as well as forest practices legislation,” says audit director Chris Mosher.

“West Fraser did a good job overall, and we were particularly pleased to find compliance with the wildfire hazard assessment requirements – something we often find lacking in our audits.”