VICTORIA - After an extensive review, deputy chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today an allowable annual cut of 4,500,000 cubic metres for the Mackenzie timber supply area effective immediately. This is an increase of 47.5% from the 3,050,000 cubic metres per year set in 2001.
The increase is due to targeted salvage harvesting of large volumes of accumulated dead pine. Most of the lodgepole pine in the area has been attacked by mountain pine beetle resulting in the death of approximately 75% of the mature trees. This new cut level accounts for the ongoing salvage harvest.
Within the new allowable annual cut, a maximum of 950,000 cubic metres is attributable to non-pine coniferous trees. Of this partition, no more than 300,000 cubic metres can be harvested from the southwest portion of the timber supply area (west of Williston Lake and south of Omineca Provincial Park and Omineca Arm). Most of the timber harvesting to-date has been concentrated in this area and it is at risk of being over harvested.
The Mackenzie timber supply area covers 6.41 million hectares, of which, 1.5 million hectares is considered suitable for timber harvesting. The primary tree species are lodgepole pine, spruce and subalpine fir (balsam) with several deciduous species present in smaller amounts.
The timber supply area is sparsely populated with a majority of the population living in the district municipality of Mackenzie. There are three sawmills, two remanufacturing mills and one pulp mill in Mackenzie. Smaller communities in the area include Germansen Landing, Manson Creek, Tsay Keh and Kwadacha.
Diane Nicholls, deputy chief forester -
“The mountain pine beetle began in the Mackenzie timber supply area much later than in the central interior, so the cut level is increasing in the short term in order to recover as much economic value as possible from the dead pine and accelerate reforestation.”
- The deputy 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 timber supply review, the chief forester or deputy chief forester must determine harvest levels in each of the province’s 38 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.
The deputy chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is available from the Mackenzie Natural Resource District, or online at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/tsa/tsa16/index.htm
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations