There will be fewer of these on area roads and highways if the Annual Allowable Cut is dropped.

Annual allowable cut set to be dropped

Being prudent with our forests now means we'll have sustainability for the future.

Barbara Roden

Black Press

The Annual Allowable Cut for the Prince George Timber Supply Area—which includes Fort St. James and Vanderhoof—looks set to be dropped when the final report comes out by the end of this year.

Andrew Wheatley, Resource Manager for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources office in Fort St. James, says that during the last AAC review in 2011, the Prince George TSA had the cut dropped from 14 million cubic metres to 12.5 million. “This is the largest TSA in the province,” says Wheatley. “You could call it the province’s breadbasket, or fibre basket. The AAC here is usually substantially bigger than anywhere else in the province.”

Wheatley points out that the mountain pine beetle had changed everything. “We’re entering a time in forestry that we’ve never been in before. We would have got there anyway, but the pine beetle sped it up.” He’s referring to the necessity of better managing forest resources, in order to think of the future. “The AAC has to be dropped in order to maintain a better steady supply of wood rather than taking it all now, and having no green plantations tall enough to cut in 50 years’ time.”

There are still some pine beetle-infected trees standing, but the difficulty of getting to them means they’re unlikely to be logged. “We don’t have the infrastructure to harvest them, and the region is too vast to get them all.” There is also a danger to using pine beetle trees, as the older they are the more brittle they become, and could explode going down the line to be processed. Once a tree hits the ground, it has to be got to within one year, and even then may not be salvageable.

Wheatley notes that pine beetle wood has its uses. “It’s still strong, and can be used by pellet mills, log home makers, and craftsmen and carvers.” But the devastation caused by the pine beetle has led to a reassessment about how we manage the forest. “We’re considering more values now when we look at the AAC, such as First Nations and wildlife,” says Wheatley. “For example, the moose population is shrinking, and we need to find out why.”

And they need to look to the future. “We have to stretch our timber supply and keep it continuous,” says Wheatley. “It means we have to tighten our belts a bit now, but it’s for the good of making sure we have good strong forests in the future.

Just Posted

20th annual walk-a-thon held on May 26

St. John Hospital Auxiliary group is raising money to buy equipment for the hospital

Gallery — 2019 Madison Poker Ride

It’s been eight years since Madison Scott went missing from Hogsback Lake

Category 2 open fires are now prohibited across the Prince George Fire Centre

The first ban was set on May 8 that covered the Stuart Nechako and Prince George Forest District

Photo Gallery: Kids have a blast during the ‘Fun Run’ organized by David Hoy Elementary School

Elementary school students across school district 91 participated in the event

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read