Keywords:Forest and Range Practices Act – s. 52; unauthorized harvesting of Crown timber; administrative penalty; consent order
Capacity Forest Management Ltd. (“CFM”) appealed a determination issued in May 2018 by the District Manager (the “Manager”), Sunshine Coast Natural Resource District, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the “Ministry”). The Manager determined that CFM contravened sections 52(1) and (3) of the Forest and Range Practices Act, due to its timber harvesting contractor harvesting and removing Crown timber outside of the approved boundaries of a cutblock. CFM admitted that its staff erroneously directed the contractor to harvest trees in an area outside of the cutblock boundaries, and the timber had been sold. CFM had paid the stumpage owing to the government for the timber that was sold. The Manager levied an administrative penalty of $33,427.60 against CFM.
CFM appealed the determination, and requested that the penalty be reduced. CFM submitted that the economic benefit it received from the contravention was only $8,864.89. If the penalty was only supposed to remove the economic benefit that CFM had received from the contravention, then the penalty was too high.
Before the appeal was heard by the Commission, the parties negotiated an agreement to resolve the matter. By consent of the parties, the Commission varied the penalty, and ordered CFM to pay a penalty of $12,000.