Public input is being accepted by the ministry of forests, lands and natural resource operations until Sunday, October 2, about a discussion paper released on the Sunshine Coast timber supply.
The paper is a part of regular reviews of timber supplies throughout the province, examining the impacts of current forest management practices on supply, economy, environment and social conditions. 2001 saw the last review of the Sunshine Coast, which set forestry limits at just over 1.1 million cubic metres per year. The chief forester of the time increased the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) in 2007 to its current level of 1.197 million cubic metres.
In its summary, the paper recommends that a harvest level of 1.65 million cubic metres per year can be sustained for the next 400 years. It acknowledges this level as 38 per cent higher than the previous quota and is based on 50 years of harvest on 2,700 hectares and then moving to 2,200 hectares of productive managed stands.
For the past 10 years an average of 85 per cent of the AAC was harvested on the Sunshine Coast. Of this, 25 per cent of harvested trees were cedar, 39 per cent Douglas fir and 32 per cent hemlock or balsam.
The review takes into account information from technical forestry reports, first nations and public input, along with government mandates, according to a ministry press release. It also mentions that harvest levels in the region do not meet pulp and paper mill consumption levels, resulting in the importing of chips and timber.
A summary of public input will be reviewed by chief forester Jim Snetsinger before he sets the new allowable annual cut for the region. Copies of the discussion paper are available on the ministry’s website or at the district office in Powell River. Input can be provided by contacting the ministry by mail to the 7077 Duncan Street location, by phone at 604.485.0700 or by email at email@example.com.