BC’s Chief Forester, Diane Nicholls, has released new Annual Allowable Cut levels for the Prince George Timber Supply area and, not surprisingly, the limits will decrease.
The limit for the first five years is set at 8,350,000 cubic metres per year, and 7,350,000 cubic metres for the following five years.
Effective immediately, the new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Prince George Timber Supply Area (TSA) is set at 8,350,000 cubic metres per year for the first five years, and 7,350,000 cubic metres for the following five years.
The new cut level includes three partitions:
1.) A maximum of 1.5 million cubic metres per year is attributed to supply blocks A and B.
2.) A maximum of 6.1 million cubic metres per year is attributed to the remaining supply blocks (and reduced to 5. 1 million cubic metres in October 2022), of which 62,000 cubic metres per year is attributed to deciduous-leading stands.
3.) A maximum of 750,000 cubic metres per year is attributed to bioenergy stands.
In recent years, the AAC was increased to accommodate salvage of wood destroyed by the Mountain Pine Beetle. That has now come to an end. The reductions represent a 33% reduction in the Prince George TSA and that should not be surprising to anyone.
“Now we’ve got a situation where the AAC’s have to drop to a recovery level so it gives our forests a chance to recover. And that drop is going to last for a full 50 to 70 years, says Marleen Morris of the Community Development Institute at UNBC. “It’s really important to think of this in a different context; we are not looking at an economic downturn in our forests, we are looking at an ecological downturn in our forest sector.”
The first five years will be dedicated to harvesting stands damaged by spruce-, pine- and/or balsam-bark beetle, as well as wildfire.