Less timber will be harvested in the Okanagan.
The new allowable annual cut for the Okanagan timber supply area will decrease from 3.375 million cubic metres to 3.1 million cubic metres.
“The Okanagan timber supply area has many diverse ecosystems, and the increase in areas managed for biodiversity and backcountry road networks means I needed to decrease the allowable annual cut to ensure long-term sustainability,” said Jim Snetsinger, B.C.’s chief forester.
The allowable annual cut was increased in January 2006 to salvage mountain pine beetle-attacked timber. Since then the predicted level of pine mortality has decreased from 72 per cent to 37 per cent.
Snetsinger believes the new lower cut reflects this decrease and the need to transition to a lower mid-term timber supply expected to occur before pine stands recover.
“Logging of beetle-attacked timber continues in the Okanagan, but my determination reflects that it is now time to start to transition to a more sustainable midterm harvest level,” he said.
He added the lower cut also reflects other forest values, like wildlife habitat, riparian areas and old growth management areas.
The Okanagan timber supply area stretches from Seymour River and Shuswap Lake in the north to the U.S. border in the south, and from the Monashee Mountains in the east to the Okanagan Mountains in the west.
While the timber supply area covers about 2.25 million hectares, only about 783,000 hectares are available for timber harvesting.
The chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is available from the Okanagan Shuswap resource district office in Vernon or online at www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/