The Cascadia Timber Supply Area (TSA), which includes four blocks near Quesnel and Wells, has a new allowable annual cut (AAC) for timber harvesting.
“Harvesting will continue at a sustainable level and generate economic prosperity for British Columbians,” states a news release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) announcing the new AAC.
The Cascadia TSA is dispersed throughout the Interior of British Columbia, mainly in the northwest and southeast of the province.
Diane Nicholls, B.C.’s chief forester, announced that the new AAC is 356,230 cubic metres, effective Jan. 23. It will provide a reliable supply of Crown timber through competitive auctions, according to FLNRORD.
The new AAC is 10 per cent lower than the current AAC of 397,818 cubic metres.
“The reduction was made to account for new information regarding forest-management practices and economic operability for the TSA,” FLNRORD states in the release.
The Cascadia TSA is assigned to BC Timber Sales (BCTS) and consists of 11 timber-supply blocks. The new cut level includes 65,740 cubic metres for the BCTS Cariboo-Chilcotin Business Area, 101,420 cubic metres for the BCTS Kootenay Business Area, 63,000 cubic metres for the BCTS Okanagan-Columbia Business Area and 126,070 cubic metres for the BCTS Skeena Business Area.
“After reviewing all of the available information on timber and non-timber resources for the distinct areas of this TSA and consulting with First Nations, I am satisfied the new cut level will support a sustainable forest industry, while taking into consideration local social and economic objectives,” Nicholls said in the news release.
The chief forester’s determination takes into consideration requirements for old growth management areas, riparian areas, wildlife habitat areas and species at risk, such as caribou, bull trout, grizzly bear and ungulates (mountain goats, moose and deer).
The Cascadia TSA occupies a total area of over 316,000 hectares. It was created in 2011 by combining areas tree farm licences and areas transferred from the Revelstoke and Arrow TSAs.
BCTS auctions the timber from this TSA to the highest bidder and uses the bid information to support the provincial market pricing system for setting stumpage rates.
The Cascadia TSA overlaps the traditional territory of 24 First Nations and First Nations groupings: Neskonlith Indian Band; Secwepemc Reconciliation Framework Agreement; Okanagan Nation Alliance; Okanagan Indian Band; Adams Lake Indian Band; Westbank First Nation; Splats’in First Nation; Shuswap Indian Band; Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band; Ktunaxa Nation Council; Tsilhqot’in Engagement Zone ‘A’; Lhtako Dené Nation; Xats’ull First Nation; Tsilhqot’in Nation, Notice of Civil Claim; Nazko First Nation; Kitsumkalum Band Council; Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs; Kitselas First Nation; Skin Tyee First Nation; Wet’suwet’en First Nation; Metlakatla Band Council; Lax Kw’alaams Band; Office of the Wet’suwet’en; and the Haisla Nation.
Along with this AAC decision, the chief forester issued an order reducing the AAC attributable to the BCTS Skeena Business Area by seven per cent to account for the Kitsumkalum-Kitselas Designated Area.