Allowable annual cut reduced

B.C.'s chief forester has reduced the annual allowable cut in the Prince George Timber Supply Area by a third but it should have only a small effect on activity as it currently stands.

Previously set at 12.5 million cubic meters, it now stands at 8.35 million, the provincial government said in a statement issued Tuesday,

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However, the average annual harvest over the last five years was 9.1 million, meaning the effective reduction is eight per cent. It will remain at 8.35 million for the next five years then be reduced to 7.35 million for the following five years.

"After reviewing all relevant factors on timber and non-timber resources, and taking into consideration First Nations' interests in the Prince George TSA, I am satisfied that the new AAC will ease the transition to a lower mid-term timber supply and allow more time for local and regional economies to adjust," chief forester Diane Nicholls said in a statement.

The decrease should come as no surprise - it was strongly indicated when a consultation process was launched last year.

The Prince George TSA covers about eight million hectares in the north-central Interior of the province and is one of the province's largest management units.

About three million hectares of the total TSA land base is considered available for timber harvesting. The leading tree species are lodgepole pine, spruce and subalpine fir. 

Currently, there are 13 lumber mills, three pulp mills, one utility mill, four pellet operations, two cogeneration facilities and a bioenergy facility operating in the timber supply area.

Major communities include Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Fraser Lake. The full determination is posted online at this link.

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