Visual Resource Monitoring

The B.C. Government monitors licensee performance by periodically evaluating visual quality effectiveness and visual quality objectives (VQOs). Evaluations determine whether the management framework is preserving the visual resource effectively. If activities appear not to be meeting the VQO, provincial Compliance and Enforcement staff will inspect; if activities are found not to be meeting the VQO, investigations and penalties may follow.

The Forest Practices Board audits forest practices for compliance with the Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA) and its regulations. Several audits have evaluated visual quality.

Visual Quality Effectiveness Evaluations
(Forest & Range Evaluation Program)

Visual quality effectiveness evaluations (VQEEs) assess management and conservation of views in designated scenic areas, and whether recent harvests have achieved an established VQO. They do not assess whether the pre-harvest visual impact assessments were accurate, or whether the planned and approved prescriptions were carried out — those are compliance and enforcement questions.

VQEEs have both a field and office component. Evaluators visit viewpoints to inspect the visual impact of post-harvest forest alterations created by cutblocks and roads. The scene is visually evaluated, photographs taken and site notes recorded.

This document explains procedures and standards for evaluating whether forestry operations are meeting established VQOs:

The evaluator completes the following VQEE form for each viewpoint:

VQEE results can be summarized provincially or by district or region. Provincial results are released periodically by the Forest & Range Evaluation Program:

Compliance & Enforcement

Compliance and Enforcement (C&E) ensures forestry laws are followed in B.C.'s public forests. It acts where non-compliance is suspected. C&E may examine two areas under FRPA regarding visuals:

  1. Forest Stewardship Plan results or strategies to ensure they are measurable and verifiable; or
  2. post-harvesting results to ensure VQOs have been achieved

If members of the public see harvesting that does not appear to meet the VQO for an area, they may report it to C&E by completing the following form or by calling the natural resource violation reporting line at 1 844 NRO-TIPS (1 844 676-8477).

Forest Practices Board

The Forest Practices Board is the independent watchdog for forest and range practices in British Columbia. It audits whether practices comply with the Forest & Range Practices Act and its regulations. Several audits have looked at visual quality.