Peace River Resource District receives strong audit

An audit of the district managers' obligations to maintain forest service roads (FSRs) in the Dawson Creek timber supply area (TSA) of the Peace Natural Resource District has found that the FSRs and crossing structures were built, maintained and deactivated appropriately, as required by the Forest and Range Practices Act.

The government, through the district manager, must maintain FSRs that are not being maintained by forest companies or BC Timber Sales. In the Dawson Creek TSA, this consists of 86.6 kilometres of road, all of which is classified as "wilderness road."

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Wilderness roads are those not being used for industrial purposes. On these wilderness FSRs, the district manager is responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the road and ensuring the drainage systems of the road are functional.

"While these roads are not currently being used by industry, they are open to the public and are sometimes used to access communities, rural residences or recreation sites," said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board. "The board is pleased to find the district is doing a good job of looking after them."

There are 670 kilometres of FSRs in the Dawson Creek TSA, most of which are the responsibility of BC Timber Sales and forest licensees that have road-use permits. The audit examined 86.6 kilometres of FSR maintained by the district manager.

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 and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

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