Meadow Creek Cedar in Kootenay, British Columbia, appeals license suspension, C$42,000 fine, for failing to achieve minimum restocking requirements on six cut blocks

NELSON, British Columbia , March 4, 2012 () – Meadow Creek Cedar is appealing its license suspension and a fine imposed for failing to meet silviculture obligations.

Ministry of Forests public affairs officer Brennan Clarke confirms the company has asked the regional executive director to review district manager Garth Wiggill’s decision to suspend its license.

“This may result in a follow-up hearing between now and March 12, or the regional executive director may make a decision based on written submissions,” Clarke wrote in an email.

In the meantime, the license suspension that came into effect Thursday stands.

Appeals of financial penalties are the responsibility of the independent Forest Appeals Commission. The commission has received notice of an appeal of Meadow Creek Cedar’s $42,000 fine, but the commission chair has yet to determine a timeline and process for a ruling, Clarke said.

The fine and suspension were ordered following a hearing before Wiggil on December 13, at which the company’s former professional forester acknowledged the violations in an agreed statement of facts.

An investigation by the ministry’s compliance and enforcement staff found the company didn’t achieve “minimum restocking requirements” on six separate cut blocks where harvesting occurred in 2006 and 2007.

By law, the company had four years to comply with replanting requirements of its license. However, none of the blocks were found to be sufficiently restocked when inspected last year.

The company has been given until August to reforest each of the blocks to levels prescribed in its site plans.

The license suspension includes one exception to allow completion of logging in one cut block, to protect the interests of the contractor who is being paid directly by log buyers.

The suspension is a possible first step toward cancellation.

Meadow Creek Cedar is also the subject of several other non-compliance investigations, some of which are expected to come before Wiggill for decision soon.

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