The new allowable annual cut for the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area (TSA) will remain at 2,115,000 cubic metres, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today.
“By maintaining the Fort St. John allowable annual cut, while limiting the amount and species of timber harvested from the southern and central portion of the TSA, I’m confident my decision supports the sustainability of the timber supply,” said Nicholls.
The new allowable annual cut will include two partitions:
- 1.2 million cubic metres per year for coniferous species trees, with a maximum of 672,000 cubic metres annually coming from the core area — the southern and central part of the TSA. Within the core area, spruce should comprise no more than 50% of the conifer volume.
- 915,000 cubic metres for deciduous species trees, with a maximum of 512,000 cubic metres annually coming from the core area — the southern and central part of the TSA.
The partitions address public and First Nations concerns that timber harvesting is concentrated in the core area of the TSA and impacts wildlife habitat.
The chief forester’s determination takes into account winter range for ungulates, including boreal caribou, mountain caribou and Stone’s sheep, as well as habitat requirements for other wildlife, which are managed by excluding or limiting harvest in wildlife habitat areas.
The leading tree species are white spruce, lodgepole pine, aspen and black spruce. There are also minor amounts of subalpine fir, birch, balsam poplar and larch present.
The Fort St. John TSA covers about 4.6 million hectares in the northeast corner of B.C., and includes the communities of Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope and Taylor. There are two sawmills, and one oriented strand board facility, currently operating in the TSA.
In the western portion of the timber supply area, the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area contains protected areas and special management zones that maintain wilderness and wildlife habitat areas.
- 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. If the chief forester thinks that a new determination will result in little or no change in its current level, the decision can be postponed for up to five years.
A copy of the allowable annual cut determination is available from the Fort St. John natural resource district office, or online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/timber-supply-review-and-allowable-annual-cut/allowable-annual-cut-timber-supply-areas/fort-st-john-tsa