BC’s chief forester has temporarily slashed the annual cut on the islands by 26-percent to bring it in line with government orders protecting 83,000 hectares while land-use planning is underway.
The reduction affects the Queen Charlotte timber supply area, and parts of tree farm licences 39, 25, and 47. The new combined allowable annual cut for these areas is now 1.2-million cubic metres, compared to the previously allowed 1.7-million cubic metres.
Chief forester Jim Snetsinger told the Observer Tuesday afternoon that the reduction was required so that companies wouldn’t over-harvest on the remaining land base.
“I’m looking at it purely on a sustainability basis,” he said.
He said it’s important to note that companies have not been cutting anywhere near the allowable cut in recent years. The average annual harvest during the past six years has been just under 1.2-million cubic metres, he said.
The Timber Supply Area is the most affected by the reduction. Its annual cut now stands at 255,000 cubic metres, down from 475,000.
The government’s decision to protect 83,000 hectares is a temporary order, which will expire on May 31, 2007 for some areas and Dec. 31, 2008 for other areas, Mr. Snetsinger said.
The government can extend the orders. These areas are likely to end up with some sort of permanent protection, Mr. Snetsinger said, but that will have to be determined through the land use planning process.
Once the land use process is finished, the Ministry of Forests will be conducting a full timber supply review to make sure that direction from the land use plan, along with the latest timber supply information, is considered for the islands.
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