Eric and Pam Meutzner (the “Meutzners”) appealed a stumpage rate determination with respect to an appraisal of a cutting permit issued under a woodlot licence. The Meutzners stated that the appraisal incorrectly applied an adjustable rate for the April 1, 2004 to June 30, 2004 business quarter (“Q2-2004”), rather than the fixed rate they requested. The Meutzners asked that the stumpage rate be fixed at the level in effect during Q2-2004.
The Commission found that the meaning of the term “proper notice” was not specified in the Interior Appraisal Manual (the “IAM”) to indicate anything other than that it must be in writing and sent to the regional appraisal coordinator. The Commission found that the Meutzners’ method of communicating the request, through a Ministry of Forests appraisal form, was reasonable. Thus, the Commission held that the Meutzners had given the regional appraisal coordinator “three weeks prior written notice,” as required by the IAM, of their choice to change the status of the appraisal to a fixed rate. The Commission referred the matter back to the Timber Pricing Coordinator to fix the rate for the cutting permit at the rate prevailing during Q2-2004.