Monica Lamb-Yorski photo Forest Practices Board chair Kevin Kriese was in the Cariboo this week to attend the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations AGM and meet with local mayors, Ministry of Forests and other stakeholders.

environment

Logging beetle-killed wood bad for small, at risk fisher: B.C. forest board

FPB chair Kevin Kriese said a special investigation was launched after two trappers filed a complaint

A special investigation by the Forest Practices Board has found logging destroyed a special, at risk animal’s habitat in the Nazko area.

Kevin Kriese, FPB chair, told the Tribune the investigation was launched after two trappers lodged a complaint that logging had eliminated or destroyed their trapping areas between 2002 and 2017.

The animal at risk is the fisher, a close relative of the martin but twice as large who lives in large trees.

“We found that they had not fully cared for fisher habitat, both the government and the companies,” Kriese said. “The companies did some things, but what would happen is one company would leave behind fisher habitat but then someone else would come in and log that fisher habitat.”

Because there were many different licencees doing salvage logging in an uncoordinated way, they could not verify something had been left behind at the end of the day, he added.

“It may actually get harvested by these other licencees because they don’t know it was left behind.”

A fisher sitting in a forested area (Pixabay)

Kriese said the government moving forward is going to have to insist that salvage operations involve plans on what is going to be harvested and what is going to be left.

Fishers live in older forest stands with lots of large trees, snags and coarse woody debris. Fishers prefer landscapes with large areas of connected forest and avoid non-forested openings. Areas of mostly-dead timber may still provide habitat for fishers.

The same thing applies to wildfires, he added.

“There is work to do that pre-planning around the salvage of the fires, but that pre-planning did not happen with the mountain pine beetle harvesting. There is not enough habitat out there to sustain fisher in those trap lines going into the future.”

Better planning at the landscape level is necessary, he added.

“The same thing can be said around moose and the challenges we’ve had. The challenge with a lot of our issues is whether it’s to stop logging or do more logging and in the middle is trying to find solutions that allow better logging to deliver both the values on the landscape and keep timber supply, which is important to communities.”

Logging can continue, but it needs to be planned better, he added.

“If they planned their harvest and leave areas, and there was better access management and screening, simple tools like that would improve the moose habitat.”

Kriese is in the Cariboo to attend the Federation of B.C. Woodlot Associations annual general meeting taking place in Williams Lake Friday, and to meet with staff from the ministry of forests, and the Williams Lake and Quesnel mayors.

Read more: Woodlot associations AGM to tackle wildfire impacts, prevention and risk reduction

Prior to becoming FPB chair in August, Kriese was the assistant deputy minister of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“The Forest Practices Board is the only independent board of its type in Canada,” he said of his reason for wanting to become the chair. “It has a stellar reputation for doing good work and I admired their work for ages and thought if I ever had a chance to work with them I would.”

In September, the FPB announced plans to audit the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s small-scale salvage program and salvage licence holders in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District.

That audit is underway to examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning, carried out between Sept. 1, 2017, and Sept. 28, 2018, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

Small-scale salvage is the recovery of trees that are wind-thrown, beetle-killed, damaged by fire or considered to be residue. Licence volumes must be 2,000 cubic metres or less.

In the past year, most salvage activities in the district took place near Williams Lake, Horsefly and McLeese Lake.

“Every year we do about eight audits that are randomly selected and this year it landed on this region. Our staff go out on the ground and actually look at what’s happening with road building and silviculture and the records of planning and what happens with true on the ground forest practices and see whether or not they are following both the regulations and professional standards,” Kriese said, noting they have about 20 staff members comprised of engineers, biologists and foresters.

Special investigation into the ministry of forests compliance and

enforcement function

Kriese said a report will come out by Christmas with the findings from a special investigation into the compliance and enforcement function of the ministry of forests.

“We will look at whether or not the compliance and enforcement function is doing what the public expects. Is it set up properly? Is it delivering? What kind of results does it achieve? How does it measure its results?”



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Thieves break into mailboxes overnight in Courtenay, Comox

Thieves in Comox were busy overnight on March 17, breaking into more… Continue reading

Man convicted of Courtenay couple’s murder

Michael Philip Simard, 45, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Comox Valley RCMP looking for help to identify shoplifters

The Comox Valley RCMP is asking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Haida Manga artist to speak at North Island College

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will speak at North… Continue reading

UPDATE: Courtenay home a ‘write-off’ after Sunday afternoon fire

Two occupants of the home and one of a neighbouring house were treated for minor smoke inhalation

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read