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New harvest level set for Sunshine Coast

June 6, 2024 at 2:28 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

British Columbia’s deputy chief forester has set a new allowable annual cut (AAC) level for the Sunshine Coast Timber Supply Area (TSA).

Effective Thursday, June 6, 2024, the new AAC for the Sunshine Coast TSA is 1,050,000 cubic metres. This is a 12.3% reduction from the previous AAC, while remaining 2% above the average harvest level over the past decade.

In light of the old-growth deferral areas in place within the TSA, as well as to ensure sustainable forestry practices, the determination includes two partitions. A maximum of 262,500 cubic metres may be harvested from stands older than 140 years and a maximum of 787,500 cubic metres may be harvested from stands 140 years and younger.

The Sunshine Coast TSA comprises approximately 1.7 million hectares on the southwestern coast. The TSA overlaps the territory of 22 First Nations, all of which were consulted during the timber-supply review process, and feedback considered. The deputy chief forester also sought public input and considered concerns and interests, such as old growth, water, ecosystem function, recreation, climate change and extreme-weather events.

As part of the Province’s updated forest planning, a forest landscape plan (FLP) pilot was initiated concurrent with the timber supply review. FLPs are completed in partnership with First Nations and establish clear direction for forest management, including approaches to managing old growth and biodiversity, climate change and wildfire risk. The deputy chief forester has committed to redetermining a new AAC when the FLP is complete. 

The deputy chief forester’s AAC determination is an independent, professional judgment based on information ranging from technical forestry reports, First Nations consultations, input from the public, and the government’s social and economic objectives.

Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the AAC in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 tree-farm licences at least once every 10 years.

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