B.C.’s chief forester, Diane Nicholls, has reviewed Western Forest Products’ Tree Farm License 39 and determined a new cut level, resulting in a slight decrease in their allowable annual harvest.
License 39 covers 360,487 hectares, with 148,879 hectares available for timber harvesting, and is made up of four distinct supply blocks. Block 1 is located on the Sunshine Coast near Powell River, Block 2 is near Sayward along the northeast side of Vancouver Island, Block 3 is on North Broughton Island and Block 5 is located along the Phillips River in the South Central Coast.
The new allowable annual cut also includes a partition so that only 41,300 cubic metres per year can be harvested from Blocks 3 and 5 – the areas under the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest Order – and no more than 1,375,000 cubic metres from Blocks 1 and 2.
The harvest from Blocks 1 and 2 is also partitioned so that no more than 1,203,000 cubic metres can be harvested from areas classified as conventional harvest areas.
The cut level is a reduction from the previous allowable annual cut of 1,680,083 cubic metres set in April 2016, when the tree farm license area was reduced by an area transfer from Block 1 to the Tla’amin First Nation.
“After a careful review of the facts, I am satisfied that the new allowable annual cut for Tree Farm Licence 39 is sustainable, respects First Nations’ interests and takes into account biodiversity, wildlife and socio-economic concerns,” Nicholls says in her determination, which is, the government release states, “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.”
From 2001 to 2015 the allowable annual cut level in TFL 39 fluctuated from 3,740,000 cubic metres to 1,683,980 cubic metres due to land transfers and land removals – including the transfer of Block 6 (Haida Gwaii) to TFL 60 in 2010 and the transfer of Block 4, located on northern Vancouver Island to TFL 6 in 2015.
The dominant tree species are western hemlock, balsam, Douglas-fir, yellow cedar and western red cedar.
Tree Farm Licenses are reviewed at least every 10 years.