Substantially reduced annual allowable cut announced

  • Apr. 9, 2012 12:00 p.m.

The first-ever made in Haida Gwaii annual allowable cut was announced last Wednesday (April 4) by the Haida Gwaii Management Council, the group established to make resource use decisions. “The annual allowable cut of 929,000 cubic metres has been set for the environmentally and economically harvestable area of Haida Gwaii, which excludes all established protected areas, private land, Indian reserves, municipalities,” said a press release issued by the council.Council of the Haida Nation representative Allan Davidson called the announcement “.a significant milestone in our history”. “This new AAC is a 48-percent reduction from prior AACs and reflects the spirit and intent of the recently signed HG Strategic Land Use Agreement and the Kunst’aa guu-Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol. This is a historic moment for the people of Haida Gwaii since it is the first time that the decision about how much commercial forest to cut on our islands has been made by anybody other than the government of British Columbia,” said Trevor Russ, another CHN representative on the HGMC.Derek Thompson, representing the province, said “this is something that our province is able to do. Our province is able to share. Truly share. I travel the world and people marvel at what we do.” As the ceremony announcing the cut was drawing to a close, CHN president Guujaaw took the microphone and said “they have spoken. And we’ll have to abide by that. At least for a little while. Now the marketplace will determine what really happens.” Up until the announcement, the AAC for Haida Gwaii was 1.7 million cubic metres. It’s now effectively half that, and also a great deal less than the over 3 million cubic metres harvested annually for at least a couple of years in the ’80s and ’90s. It’s also slightly higher than the 800,000 cubic metre minimum committed to in the land use agreement, and above the 895,000 cubic metres generated in a technical analysis prepared earlier this year for the management council. It’s also considerably higher than the actual harvest in recent years, which has been depressed because of poor markets. The announcement sets the maximum possible cut on active forest lands on Haida Gwaii, the two Tree Farm Licences and the Timber Supply Area, and excludes all protected areas, municipalities and Indian reservations. Next on the agenda, the province’s chief forester will apportion the cut among the three active areas, and then the Ministry of Forests will allocate amounts to tenure holders. The bottom line, though, is that the cut is set at 929,000 cubic metres and that cannot be exceeded. The Chief Forester is expected to make his decision in about a month and then the subsequent decision for the tenure holders is expected in September. The AAC is based on a rotation of 115 years on average, higher than the 90 year rotation that has been often used in the past. More information can be found at www.haidagwaiimanagementcouncil.ca

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