The Haida Gwaii Management Council (HGMC) has reduced the amount of cedar and other timber that can be harvested within the Haida Gwaii Management Area each year.
On May 5, the HGMC, which was established in 2011 and includes representatives from the provincial government and the Council of the Haida Nation, announced a new annual allowable cut (AAC) of 804,000 cubic metres for the Timber Harvesting Land Base, which covers 147,746 hectares and makes up 15 per cent of Haida Gwaii.
The new AAC is about 13 per cent less than the previous AAC of 929,000 cubic metres, determined by the HGMC in 2012.
A release from the HGMC said the new AAC is based on a new timber supply review that was undertaken from 2014 through 2019, including data gathering and analysis of the forest inventory, such as improved mapping, site productivity estimates, and growth and yield tables.
Warren Mitchell, chair of the HGMC, said the the determination is “reflective of current forestry and environmental needs and expectations, and incorporates a deep understanding of the need for sustaining resources and community stability well into the future.”
“With that in mind, the ability for two governments to find consensus on difficult issues like managing the supply of cedar and Northern Goshawk habitat while maintaining a viable forest industry sector for Haida Gwaii, is a milestone in working together,” Mitchell said in the release.
The release also said the HGMC recognizes that a long-term growing supply of cedar and especially monumental cedar is critical to Haida cultural practices, and to that effect, the HGMC considered the long-term viability of cedar while recognizing that the harvesting of cedar is important to the economic viability for some businesses.
“I believe the new AAC will maintain ecological integrity on Haida Gwaii and provide a measure of stability for our communities,” Haida Nation representative, Kung Xyaalas Tyler Bellis said in the release.
“Decisions like this are not easy, and require a balancing of the social, economic, cultural and environmental considerations,” Province of British Columbia representative Sharon Hadway added in the release. “But I can say with confidence that the process of getting here was a genuinely collaborative joint effort and it took into account the views of all members at the table.”
Following the AAC determination, the chief forester of British Columbia will determine the AAC for the two Tree Farm Licenses and the timber supply area within the Haida Gwaii Management Area.
Interview requests sent to the HGMC were not granted before the print deadline.
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