Decision Date: June 4, 2001
Panel: Gerry Burch, Kristen Eirikson, Bruce Devitt
Keywords: Stumpage Advisory Notice; cutting permit; road permit; anniversary reappraisals; Interior Appraisal Manual – s. 2.2, 2.3, 6.3.
This was an appeal by Weyerhaeuser Company Limited (“Weyerhaeuser”) of an administrative review decision upholding the Stumpage Advisory Notices (“SANs”) issued by the Regional Appraisal Coordinator with respect to two road permits in the Clearwater Forest District. Weyerhaeuser appealed on the grounds that one of its cutting permits was incorrectly omitted in calculating the stumpage rates for the road permits. The cutting permit was omitted from the calculations because of a delay in issuing a sudden and severe damage reappraisal and an anniversary reappraisal for the cutting permit. Weyerhaeuser sought an order that the reappraised stumpage rate applicable to the omitted cutting permit be included in calculating the stumpage rates for the road permits for the year 2000.
The Commission found that the wording of the Interior Appraisal Manual (“IAM”) was ambiguous with respect to whether the Ministry of Forest (“MOF”) is responsible for determining whether an anniversary appraisal needs to be conducted. It also found no fault in the handling of the sudden and severe damage and anniversary reappraisals of the cutting permit, and that the delay in issuing the reappraisals was not inordinate. The Commission further concluded that the IAM did not require the anniversary reappraisal to have been issued in time to be included in the data from which the stumpage rates for the road permit were calculated.
The Commission, however, concluded that the anniversary date for the cutting permit was January 1, 2000, and that MOF should have calculated the stumpage rate applicable to the road permits based on the data available as of January 1, 2000. This would have included the cutting permit in question and resulted in lower stumpage rates applying to the road permits.
The appeal was allowed.