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Government doing fewer inspections of forest and range practices

An investigation into government's inspections of compliance with forest and range practice legislation found that the number of inspections is one-third of what it was a few years ago, according to a report released today.

"The Forest and Range Practices Act is intended to keep environmental standards high, with strong compliance and enforcement. Government needs to demonstrate that it is carrying out enough inspections to adequately monitor compliance with legislation, or public confidence will be diminished," said Al Gorley, board chair.

Inspections decreased for a variety of reasons, one of which was the 2010 consolidation of natural resource ministries that now sees fewer natural resource officers inspecting a much greater number and type of activities on Crown land. For example they now inspect dams, recreation activities, illegal structures like cabins and docks, litter, open burning, etc.

As a result of this investigation, the board recommends improvements to how the government records and reports industry compliance.

"This would help to determine if the number of inspections is appropriate," said Gorley.

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. The board can investigate and report on current forestry and range issues and make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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