Panel: David Ormerod, Patricia Marchak, Brenda Milbrath
Keywords:Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss. 51, 117; Forest Act – s.1(1); Heritage Conservation Act – s. 13; culturally modified tree; resource feature; cultural heritage resource.
This was an appeal by International Forest Products limited (“Interfor”) of a Review Panel decision upholding the District Manager’s determination that Interfor had contravened section 51(2)(a) of the Code five times by failing to modify or stop timber harvesting operations in the vicinity of previously unidentified “resource features”. The features in question, five culturally modified trees (“CMTs”) in one cutblock in the Mid Coast Forest District, were damaged during harvesting operations. Interfor requested that the determination be varied to reflect only a single contravention, and that the penalty be reduced.
The Commission found the Code and Forest Act are unclear as to whether the five individual CMTs located together in a group should be considered five separate resource features or one cultural resource. After considering the relevant law and policies, the Commission determined that the group of CMTs constituted one resource feature, and that Interfor was responsible for one contravention of the Code.
The Commission found that a penalty of $5000 was found to be appropriate in the circumstances.