On Nov. 7, British Columbia’s deputy chief forester Diane Nicholls announced the allowable annual cut (AAC) for the 100 Mile House timber supply area (TSA) will remain at two million cubic metres (m3) until 2018.
After five years, however, the AAC will be halved to one million m3 for an additional five years.
In her decision, Nicholls specified that no more than 500,000 m3 of the AAC can be harvested from live trees.
Limiting the harvest of live trees helps to mitigate the projected decrease in timber supply, the deputy chief forester explains in her report.
Meanwhile, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says maintaining the current AAC for another five years is good news for 100 Mile House and the South Cariboo.
She notes the AAC doesn’t take into account (include timber from) private timber, community forests, woodlots and First Nations woodland licences.
“So there are other areas of opportunities for fibre out there.”
In addition to continued salvage, Nicholls says her decision also provides for other forest values, such as wildlife habitat, riparian areas and old growth forests.
After five years, when the dead pine has deteriorated to the point it can no longer be used for commercial purposes, she adds the AAC will decrease to one million cubic metres.
This decrease reflects the need to transition to a lower mid-term timber supply that will occur until regenerating pine stands become suitable for harvesting, Nicholls explains.
“Keeping the allowable annual cut elevated for five more years will maximize the salvage of dead timber and reforestation of affected lands. The projected timber supply will only support that level of harvest until around 2018, so this determination includes an automatic decrease to a level that will conserve the mid-term timber supply.”
Noting that when the beetle coalitions were started in 2006, Barnett says they knew it was eventually going to happen depending on the shelf life of the beetle-killed wood.
She adds the analysis made between 2006 and 2008 on how long the timber harvest levels would stay constant was very close to what is occurring today.
“Hopefully in the next five years, there will be new initiatives in our communities and new opportunities and new industries [other than complete reliance on the forest industry] that will help us move forward.”
Meanwhile, she says it’s good news for the community’s stability with West Fraser upgrading the mill new technology to be more efficient with its timber use.
“I’m very positive and optimistic about the future for our region.”
The chief forester’s AAC determination is available from the 100 Mile House Natural Resource district office in 100 Mile House or online at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/.