An investigation report by the BC Forest Practices Board (2016)
In February 2015, a local hunter and advocate for wildlife conservation submitted a complaint about Interfor Corporation’s (Interfor) cutblock 04Q-09 in Tree Farm Licence 8 (TFL 8). The cutblock is
20 kilometres north of Greenwood, in the Dry Creek watershed (see Figure 1). The complainant is concerned that the 454-hectare cutblock is too large and will negatively impact water and wildlife. He would like government to stop licensees from harvesting such large cutblocks.
There is a limit on cutblock size under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), but forest licensees are allowed to harvest larger cutblocks, subject to certain constraints. The effects of these larger cutblocks can be negative or beneficial, depending on the hydrology or species of wildlife present. Since the complainant raised concerns about the size of the cutblock at a general level, rather than about a specific wildlife species or hydrological effect, the Board investigated Interfor’s management of wildlife and water in the Dry Creek area by examining the following two questions:
Were Interfor’s management of water and assessment of hydrological risk reasonable?
Did Interfor adequately manage impacts to wildlife habitat and biodiversity at the stand level
and landscape level?
Forest licensees must comply with FRPA, but have discretion in how they address forest values that are not regulated. Each section of this report examines compliance with FRPA, followed by a discussion of how Interfor considered the risk of this large cutblock affecting water and wildlife values.