Effective immediately, the new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Prince George Timber Supply Area (TSA) is set at 8,350,000 cubic metres per year for the first five years, and 7,350,000 cubic metres for the following five years, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today.
The new cut level includes three partitions:
- A maximum of 1.5 million cubic metres per year is attributed to supply blocks A and B.
- A maximum of 6.1 million cubic metres per year is attributed to the remaining supply blocks (and reduced to 5. 1 million cubic metres in October 2022), of which 62,000 cubic metres per year is attributed to deciduous-leading stands.
- A maximum of 750,000 cubic metres per year is attributed to bioenergy stands.
The Prince George TSA is subdivided into eight supply blocks; a map showing the supply blocks is available at: http://ow.ly/Xtjr30fFVmv
With the partitions, in the first five years harvesting will focus on the salvage of stands damaged by spruce-, pine- and/or balsam-bark beetle, as well as wildfire. After that time, the chief forester may apply a partition to account for the recovery of dead fibre in spruce-beetle impacted stands.
This new cut level represents a 33% decrease from the allowable annual cut of 12.5 million cubic metres set in 2011, which had been temporarily increased to harvest mountain pine beetle killed timber. However, the average annual harvest over the past five years was 9.1 million cubic metres per year, so the reduction is approximately 8%.
The Prince George TSA covers about 8 million hectares in the north-central Interior of the province and is one of the province’s largest management units. Approximately 3 million hectares of the total TSA land base is considered available for timber harvesting. The leading tree species are lodgepole pine, spruce and subalpine fir.
Currently, there are 13 lumber mills, three pulp mills, one utility mill, four pellet operations, two cogeneration facilities and a bioenergy facility operating in the timber supply area. Major communities include Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Fraser Lake.
The chief forester’s determination takes into consideration winter range for ungulates, as well as habitat requirements for other wildlife, which are managed through wildlife habitat areas.
Diane Nicholls, chief forester–
“After reviewing all relevant factors on timber and non-timber resources, and taking into consideration First Nations’ interests in the Prince George TSA, 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.”
- The chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is an independent, professional judgment based on information ranging from technical forestry reports, First Nations and public input to the government’s social and economic goals.
- 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 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.
A copy of the allowable annual cut determination is available from the Prince George Natural Resource District office, the Stuart Nechako Natural Resource District offices or online at: http://ow.ly/g5Wv30fgYeS