Promoting sound forest management in B.C.

VICTORIA -The Forest Practices Board's 2012-13 annual report was released today, and summarizes the board's work over the year, as published in 29 reports, as well as highlighting work currently underway.

"When the Forest and Range Practices Act was introduced in 2004, it was understood that improvements would be necessary as circumstances changed and we gained experience with the new regulatory approach," said Al Gorley, board chair. "Now, nearly a decade later, there is clearly a need to take a look at how we are managing B.C.'s public forests."

"We have started work on a series of reports that draw on our findings since 2004, preparing bulletins on key subjects like managing cumulative effects, professional reliance and public involvement," said Gorley. "We hope this work will help focus the public and decision-makers on the right questions as improvements to B.C.'s forest and range management framework are contemplated."

Topics reported on this year range in scope from the effectiveness of the Province's reforestation efforts to its progress in establishing old-growth management areas. The board completed 16 audits of forestry and range operations, nine investigations of public complaints and responded to 63 concerns from the public.

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:
* Audits forest and range practices on public lands.
* Audits appropriateness of government enforcement.
* Investigates public complaints.
* Undertakes special investigations of current forestry issues.
* Participates in administrative appeals.
* Makes recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

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