Babine Forest Products Ltd. audited

The Forest Practices Board is currently examining the activities of Hampton Affiliates, Babine Forest Products Ltd.

All timber harvesting

All timber harvesting

The Forest Practices Board is currently examining the activities of Hampton Affiliates, Babine Forest Products Ltd.

The four day compliance audit wound up last week and currently a report is being prepared.

Auditors examined all timber harvesting, forest road construction and maintenance, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning activities carried out by the company over the past two years.

Darlene Oman, director of communications for the Forest Practices Board said approximately 10 to 12 compliance audits are carried out each year to ensure that companies, like Hampton’s Babine Forest Products Ltd. are following the rules and regulations.

She said that during the compliance audit Babine’s mill operations were not impacted in any way.

“This is the first time that Babine Forest Products Ltd. has been audited.”

A report on the findings will eventually be released to the public. Oman said the report could take anywhere from a coupe of months, up to one year to complete, depending on if any non compliance issues are found.

“If there is non compliance issues, it can take a year for the report to come out. Most of the time minor issues are corrected by the company before the report is released. If any issues are found, the results, whether good or bad, are made public.”

According to Oman, the Forest Practices Board can only made recommendations for changes, but can’t enforce them. “It is up to the Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations to do that.”

Oman said in recent years non compliance issues are not common. “Occasionally there are small  issues and once in a while there is a non compliance.”

She said the compliance audit selection process is mostly a random process. A forest district from around the province is randomly selected, then the Forest Practices Board will look at the company’s  operating in that district and choose an operation for audit.

“This is how Babine Forest Products Ltd. was chosen for a compliance audit.”

Richard Vossen, Babine Forest Products Ltd. woods manager said, while he can’t comment on the exact details of the audit he can say that the audit went well.

“The details of the audit will come out in a few months. We are every pleased with the forestry staff and the actions and knowledge of the logging contractors. We have knowledgeable and safe logging crews and this is the cornerstone of our success with this audit.”

He also said the company went through a certification audit in August so they are familiar with auditing procedures.

He said the company is now SFI [sustainable forestry initiative] certified to bring the Canadian operations under the same certification standards as Hampton’s U.S. operations.

“We passed that audit,” he said.

Vossen also confirmed that this is the first compliance audit Babine Forest Products Ltd. has had.

When the compliance audit report is complete, it will be made available to the public on the Forest Practices Board website at www.fpb.gov.bc.ca