VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/21/13 -- INTERNATIONAL FOREST PRODUCTS LIMITED ("Interfor" or the "Company") (TSX: IFP.A) is diligent in its ongoing application of ecosystem-based management (EBM) and in meeting British Columbia's strict forest laws in the Great Bear Rainforest according to the province's independent forest practices watchdog, the Forest Practices Board.
After an extensive audit, the Board determined Interfor met the legislative requirements of forest management throughout all aspects of its operations on two forest licences in the Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area, which forms a large part of the Central Coast also known as the Great Bear Rainforest. The area was at the centre of an internationally acclaimed landmark environmental agreement involving First Nations, the BC government, environmental groups, forest companies and coastal communities.
"This is a challenging operating area, and the Board would like to acknowledge Interfor's diligence in applying the planning and operational requirements of EBM," said Board Chair Al Gorley.
This is the Board's first audit in the Mid Coast TSA where EBM has been incorporated into planning and practices. EBM is an adaptive and systematic approach that is unique to BC and seeks to ensure the co-existence of healthy, functioning ecosystems and human communities. The report noted that while full transition to EBM is not scheduled until March 2014, Interfor has been working towards its implementation since 2004.
The audit team - two professional foresters, a chartered accountant and a professional engineer - looked at all harvesting, roads, silviculture and planning done between June 1, 2010 and June 29, 2012. They found that Interfor had addressed EBM implementation in key areas such as old growth targets, wildlife habitat, cultural heritage features, visual quality objectives, and in sharing information with First Nations.
"The report findings reflect the commitment to sustainability and excellence by Interfor employees," said Ralph Friedrich, Interfor's General Manager, Coastal Woodlands. "They are operating in one of the most geographically difficult areas of the province, and under some of the most stringent forest requirements in the world."
The Forest Practices Board conducts audits and investigations, and its findings make up public reports showing how well industry and government are meeting BC's strict environmental regulations.
Interfor is a leading global supplier, with one of the most diverse lines of lumber products in the world. The Company has operations in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, including two sawmills in the Coastal region of British Columbia, three in the B.C. Interior, two in Washington and two in Oregon. For more information about Interfor, visit www.interfor.com.
International Forest Products Limited
Director, Strategic Forestry Initiatives
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