Forest Management Certification Audit

Rainforest Alliance

Public Notice for

Forest Management

Certification Audit

 

 

Spray Lake Sawmills Ltd. in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

Forest Management Area 0100038 and associated B9 Quota Area

July 4th, 2013

 

Introduction

Rainforest Alliance is conducting an audit of the forest management activities of Spray Lake Sawmills Ltd.
The audit will be conducted from August 6-9th, 2013 in Cochrane (with meetings in surrounding
communities), Alberta.

 

Scope of the Certification Assessment

Spray Lake Sawmills is seeking FSC Forest Management Certification on Forest Management Area
0100038 and the associated B9 Quota area northwest and southwest of Cochrane. They are not seeking
certification on the C5 Forest Management Unit, which includes the Castle Forest Land Use Zone, where
they hold quota tenures, as this area is under the primary management of Alberta Sustainable Resource
Development.

The purpose of this audit is twofold:

1. In 2011 Spray Lake Sawmills underwent a full assessment of their forest operations. The assessment team issued four major non-conformances, as well as a number of minor nonconformances, to Spray Lake Sawmills. An FSC certificate cannot be issued if major nonconformances have not been addressed. The purpose of this audit is to examine the work that Spray Lake Sawmills has done to address the four major non-conformances. Additionally, Spray Lake Sawmills has requested that Rainforest Alliance  evaluate conformance to six minor nonconformances.  The major and minor non-conformances that are being evaluated in this audit are attached to this notice.

2. Since more than a year has passed since the original 2011 assessment, FSC also requires that Rainforest Alliance ensure that the systems that were in place during the original assessment are still in place at this time. As a result, this audit team will assess whether the systems evaluated in 2011 are still guiding forest management. The audit team will not re-evaluate these systems for conformance to the standard in this audit as this was done already in 2011. The remaining minor non-conformances from the 2011 assessment will be evaluated during the first annual audit of Spray Lake Sawmills, if certification is achieved in this audit.

 

Assessment Team Composition 

Krista West is a Registered Professional Forester (BC) and has a B.Sc. in Forestry and an MPA with a specialty in Dispute Resolution. In her work as an environmental consultant she worked on sustainable forestry management and First Nations consultation in both BC and the Yukon. In addition to her operational forestry experience, she has a background working on treaty negotiations and he softwood lumber dispute with the BC Provincial Government. She is a Rainforest Alliance trained FSC Forest Management lead auditor and she has ISO 9001 Lead Auditor certification. She has managed the Western Canada and Maritimes Rainforest Alliance portfolio of clients since early 2009 and has completed over twenty audits and assessments across the country. Krista is the lead auditor.

Cindy Pearce is a registered professional forester in BC and a consultant in natural resource planning and rural community development. She has a B.S.F. from Oregon State University and post-graduate training in planning and community development at the University of British Columbia. Her initial experience was in operational forest management including silviculture programs and harvest planning. For 20 years her work has focused on the public aspects of resource management, including land use planning, public consultation processes, impact analysis, forest worker issues and rural community development initiatives. Since 2000 she has been involved in forest certification projects, including development of criteria and indicators, sustainable forest management planning and FSC certification.Cindy was on the 2011 assessment team for this forest.

John Gunn has been a team member or team leader on more than 30 Rainforest Alliance forest management annual audits and assessments in the northeastern United States and Canada. John has
also led more than 15 chain of custody audits and assessments throughout the United States. John holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of New Brunswick, a Master of Forest Science from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine. John’s professional experience includes four years as Vice President of Conservation and Land Management for a private timber company in Maine.

 

Audit Steps and Schedule

Following is a short description of the audit process and a tentative agenda:

 Audit organization – The Rainforest Alliance audit team will receive and review written information pertaining to the forest management area that is managed by Spray Lake Sawmills prior to the onsite visit, respond to interested individuals and arrange for interviews that will be held when the team is on-site.

 On-site visit – The full assessment team will be on-site in Cochrane and surrounding communities in August 6, 2013 and will review documents and interview Spray Lake Sawmills’ staff and interested parties until Aug. 9th, 2013.

 Consultation – From now until August 9th, 2013 the team will contact a variety of interested people and organizations in communities surrounding the forest (FMA and B9 Quota) area regarding Spray
Lake Sawmills’ forest management. This will include private interviews and discussions.

 Report production – A final report will be written and presented to Spray Lake Sawmills by October,2013. If Spray Lake Sawmills achieves certification, this report will be made publically available, along with the original assessment report, at info.fsc.org.

 

You are invited to provide your input

As a part of the forest certification audit process we invite any interested groups or individuals to offer comment and feedback on Spray Lake Sawmills’ management of the forest in this audit in relation to the non-conformances listed on the following page. We welcome input, either public or confidential, in whatever form is easiest and most secure for you. Your input will be valuable at any stage of the audit process, but we would appreciate receiving your input by July 29th, 2013 so that your views can be factored into our work on-site. Your options for communicating your observations to us are as follows:

1. Contact Cindy Pearce, socio-economic assessor at cindypearce@telus.net or at (250) 837-3966 to arrange an in-person or phone interview. Note: Cindy has limited availability from July 9-13 and will respond to contacts the following week.

2. Contact John Gunn, ecological assessor, at jgunn@sig-nal.org or at (207) 212-7723 to arrange an in-person or phone interview.

3. Anyone who may wish to discuss any aspect of this audit or the forest certification process or decision can contact Cindy Pearce before July 22 (contact info above) and Krista West at kwest@ra.org or at (613) 422-5291 after July 22.

The source of any information provided will be kept confidential, available to only the FSC and Rainforest

Alliance staff, unless you agree that it can be shared with others.

Rainforest Alliance’s dispute resolution procedures can be found at:

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/forestry/certification/transparency/dispute-resolution.

 

Non-Conformances to be evaluated

Note: The FSC Canadian Boreal Standard is the basis for audit. It can be accessed at:

https://ic.fsc.org/canada.261.htm.

Major Non-Conformances – Conformance required prior to certification

Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 4.4.1 and 4.4.2
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS does not consistently provide meaningful opportunities for public participation.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.1.7
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS has not established benchmarks of current forest conditions at a landscape level.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.3.4
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS has not demonstrated that forest units and communities that are significantly under represented are being increased in abundance over the longer term.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.1
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS has not completed a peer-reviewed scientific gap analysis and has not used the gap analysis and other High Conservation Value Forest attributes to locate additional protected areas.

 

Minor non-conformances – Conformance required prior to the first annual audit after certification

Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.2
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS has not identified and contributed candidate protected areas.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.3
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS has not demonstrated that they have worked cooperatively with interested parties in the analysis of gaps and candidate protected areas.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.4
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS is in non-conformance with indicators 6.4.1, 6.4.2 and 6.4.3 therefore the assessment team was unable to determine conformance to 6.4.4. If SLS designates candidate protected areas when addressing MAJOR NCR 04/12, NCR 32/12, and NCR 33/12, these areas must be mapped.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.5
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS has not provided documentation demonstrating support by interested parties.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.6
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS should provide evidence that there is no harvesting, silviculture and road-building in candidate protected areas, if they are established when addressing MAJOR NCR 04/12, NCR 32/12 and NCR 33/12.
Standard & Requirement: National Boreal Standard (Aug. 6, 2004) indicator 6.4.7
Description of Non-conformance and Related Evidence:
SLS is required to provide evidence that they are working within their sphere of influence to move any candidate protected areas identified when SLS addresses MAJOR NCR 04/12, NCR 32/12 and NCR 33/12 to full regulated protection as soon as possible.

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