FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — B.C.’s chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today that the allowable annual cut for the Fort St. John Timber Supply Area will remain at 2,115,000 cubic metres.
Nicholls said that the new allowable annual cut level will be partitioned into two allowable levels for deciduous and coniferous trees. The cut level for conifers is 1.2 million cubic metres per year, with a maximum of 672,000 cubic metres from the core area – the southern and central part of the TSA. Within the core area, spruce should comprise no more than 50 percent of the conifer volume.
A total of 915,000 cubic metres of deciduous species trees will be allowed to be harvested, with a maximum of 512,000 cubic metres annually coming from the central and southern core area.
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“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.
She said that 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, Taylor, and Hudson’s Hope. There are two sawmills and one oriented strand board facility currently operating in the Supply Area.
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.