BC’s Inland Rainforest – Conservation and Community

Conference Proceedings

Timber supply in the ICH – An historical perspective and a look forward

John Pousette 1

In the Prince George Forest District, Western red cedar timber has been harvested sporadically from the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) biogeoclimatic zone since before the 1950s. Beginning with harvest for commodities such as tongue and groove flooring for the Great Northern Railway roundhouse in Prince George to today where products include split rail fencing and landscape mulch, cedar has played an important but minor role in the timber supply of the region. Throughout recent history, the harvest has rarely ever exceeded the allowable annual cut (AAC). In the Prince George Timber Supply Area (TSA) in 2002, the AAC for stands where cedar and hemlock are the leading species was reduced from 290,000 to 110,000 cubic metres per year (m3/yr). Since that reduction, the actual annual harvest has not averaged more than 50,000 m3/yr – less than half of the allowable level. However, much of this harvest that has been done is in the ICH vk2 where rare ecosystems have recently been identified.

In 2007, British Columbia’s Chief Forester began the process of gathering information in order to set a new allowable annual cut in the Prince George TSA. During his deliberations he will also be considering what harvest level is appropriate for Cedar leading stands in the ICH. The new AAC will be determined in early 2009. The data and assumptions that will be used in the modeling of the timber supply to support the future AAC decision are explained and discussed.

Contact Information

1 Ministry of Forests and Range Prince George Forest District. Email: john.g.pousette@gov.bc.ca

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"Treebeard" (above) is portrayed courtesy of McBride artist Sheilagh Foster.

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