Small salvage licence holders in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act according to a new report released Thursday (May 9) by the Forest Practices Board.
“It’s really good to see that there is a program out there that’s fairly active at looking at the fir beetle. You see a lot of fir beetle increasing in your area so it’s important that it be salvaged so that was great,” said Chair Kevin Kreise.
“We looked at that program because we hadn’t looked at small scale salvage for a while so it was appropriate that we take a look at that kind of a license. We often audit major licencees or major licences.”
The audit examined timber harvesting, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning carried out between September 2017 and September 2018 at 50 different sites in the Willams Lake area including Horsefly and McLeese Lake.
The salvage licenses are limited to 2,000 cubic metres or less, and most salvage activities involved beetle-infested trees, with a few areas of burned or wind-thrown trees.
“A few things stand out,” Kreise said.
“One is that they have a tricky job to do looking because the fir beetle has to require special treatment for beetle-infested trees, and that was certainly we wanted to look at and found they were doing a good job in that area using pheromones and trap trees to prevent beetle spread.”
“The other thing to point out is that we did find a couple of areas for improvement,” Kreise added.
“One is the need for them to do hazard assessments to make sure they’re going to professionally assess the hazards left on site; that’s fire hazard. And then finally is we found one area for improvement in how the timber boundaries were marked.”
Two small areas were harvested outside of the marked boundary, and Kriese said the operator has already started looking at how they can improve their GPS system so they can better mark their boundaries.
“It’s a good example of our audits find things and people can learn from that and do better next time.”