Keywords:Forest Act – s. 105; Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss. 41(1), 67(1); Coast Appraisal Manual – s. 4.1 – “possible under the cutting authority”; Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v. British Columbia (Ministry of Forests) (1998), 55 B.C.L.R. (3d) 221 (B.C.C.A).
This was an appeal by Weyerhaeuser Company Limited’s predecessor, MacMillan Bloedel Limited (“MB”), of a review decision that upheld three Stumpage Advisory Notices (“SANs”) issued by the Regional Appraisal Coordinator. All three SANs assumed predominantly conventional logging despite the fact that MB’s approved operational plans called for predominantly helicopter logging. MB was seeking an order reversing the review decision and directing the Regional Appraisal Coordinator to reappraise the stumpage rates associated with the cutting authorities.
The issue before the Board came down to an interpretation of the phrase “possible under the cutting authority” in section 4.1 of the Coast Appraisal Manual, and whether the fact that approved plans only provided for helicopter logging was determinative of the issue. The Board found that, pursuant to Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v. British Columbia (Ministry of Forests), it was bound to consider the cutting permits in concert with the Forest Act, Forest Practices Code, regulations and plans. The Board found that since the approved plans provided for helicopter logging, or predominantly helicopter logging, conventional logging was not possible without contravening the cutting permits or the Forest Practices Code.
The Board rescinded the SANs and remitted the matter back to the Regional Appraisal Coordinator with directions to set rates reflecting predominately helicopter logging. The appeal was allowed.