Effective immediately, the new allowable annual cut for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area is set at 2,607,000 cubic metres, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today.
While the new cut level is about 35 per cent less than the four million cubic metres set in 2011, it is close to the average annual harvest over the past three years of about 2.7 million cubic metres and consistent with the allowable annual cut set in 1996 – before the mountain pine beetle infestation began.
“After considering all of the available information on timber and non-timber resources – including social and economic objectives – I am confident that this new cut level will maximize the long-term supply of timber in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area,” said Chief Forester Diane Nicholls in a press release.
Effective June 16, 2017, the new AAC for the Quesnel TSA is 2,607,000 cubic metres, of which 1,250,000 cubic metres is attributed to live coniferous trees, 1,230,000 is attributed to dead trees, and 127,000 cubic metres is attributed to deciduous-leading stands. This AAC is about 35 per cent lower than the AAC in place prior to this determination and about 11 per cent higher than the pre-mountain pine beetle uplift set in 1996.
The mountain pine beetle epidemic and the salvage logging of dead pine are ending in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. This new cut level reflects a transition to lower mid-term harvest levels that will allow newly reforested areas to grow, said Nicholls.
The Quesnel Timber Supply Area covers approximately 1.6 million hectares. Dominant tree species include lodgepole pine, spruce and Douglas-fir.
Communities in the area include Quesnel, Red Bluff, Barlow Creek, Dragon Lake, Bouchie Lake and Wells, as well as 13 First Nations communities.
The chief forester’s determination takes into consideration winter range for ungulates, including deer, caribou and moose, as well as habitat requirements for other wildlife, including the American white pelican and blue heron, which are managed through wildlife habitat areas.
There are three sawmills, two pulp mills, a plywood plant and a medium-density fibreboard plant operating within the timber supply area.