The new allowable annual cut (AAC) for the Arrow Timber Supply Area (TSA) in the southeastern part of British Columbia is being slightly reduced to 500,000 cubic metres, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today.
“After consulting with First Nations and looking at all available information on timber and non-timber resources in the TSA, I am satisfied the harvest level will accommodate objectives for all forest resources over the next 10 years and, at the same time, support social and economic goals in the area,” said Nicholls.
The chief forester’s determination takes into consideration winter range for ungulates, including mule deer, white tailed deer, rocky mountain elk and moose. Grizzly bear populations are protected through wildlife habitat areas.
The leading tree species are subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce at higher elevations and Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, western larch, western hemlock and western redcedar at lower elevations.
The Arrow TSA covers about 1.29 million hectares in the West Kootenays, with 186,466 hectares available for timber harvesting. In 2005, the AAC in the Arrow Timber Supply Area was set at 550,000 cubic metres per year. Subsequent landbase withdrawals for two new community forests in 2011 reduced the effective AAC to 513,700 cubic metres.
The new cut level is a 3% reduction from the 2011 AAC. It reflects wildlife habitat needs and a lack of timber harvesting in isolated areas.
Currently, three lumber mills, one pulp mill, four pole mills, one veneer mill and one post and rail mill are operating within the timber supply area. Communities include Rossland, Trail, Castlegar, Slocan, New Denver, Salmo, Silverton and Nakusp.
The chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is an independent, professional judgment based on information ranging from technical forestry reports, First Nations and public input to the government’s social and economic goals.
Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.
A copy of the allowable annual cut determination is available from the Selkirk Natural Resource District office or online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/timber-supply-review-and-allowable-annual-cut/timber-supply-areas/arrow-tsa