The new allowable annual cut (AAC) for West Fraser’s Tree Farm Licence 52 near Quesnel is 592,500 cubic metres, Diane Nicholls, chief forester, has announced.
This new cut level is a 36 per cent reduction from the current cut of 918,014 cubic metres set in 2011, and reflects the end of mountain pine beetle salvage operations in the area. The annual average harvest level between 2010 and 2018 was 589,000 cubic metres per year.
The new cut level includes a partition that attributes 22,500 cubic metres of the AAC to deciduous trees in the tree farm licence (TFL). The deciduous timber will provide logs for West Fraser’s two pulp mills in Quesnel.
“After reviewing all relevant factors on timber and non-timber resources, and taking into consideration First Nations’ interests in TFL 52, I am satisfied that the new AAC will ease the transition to a lower mid-term timber supply and allow more time for local and regional economies to adjust,” said Nicholls.
TFL 52 has an area of 261,468 hectares, of which 174,884 hectares are available for timber harvesting. TFL 52 is comprised of two blocks. The first, Block A, is east of Quesnel. The second, Block B, is northwest of Quesnel along the Fraser River.
The TFL includes the communities of Wells and Barkerville, and overlaps with the Traditional Territories of the Lhtako Dene, Xats’ull, Nazko, ?Esdilagh, T’exelc and Lheidli T’enneh First Nations.
The dominant tree species are interior spruce, lodgepole pine and Douglas fir.
Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 TFLs at least once every 10 years.