File photo.

File photo.

Annual allowable cut does not need to change, according to report

Only a 24-month window available for salvage logging burned wood

By Black Press

The current annual allowable cut does not need to change when it comes to salvaging logging in the fire recovery process, according to an analysis provided by Albert Nussbaum, director of the Forest Analysis and Inventory Branch.

Nussbaum and other parties involved with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, had a phone conference with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) on Jan. 8 to give the board an update on the fire recovery process.

They shared an overview of the forested area within the fire perimeters by management units, providing retention guidance for planning on how to salvage dead logs from 2017’s fires.

“Retention planning is key to the successful salvage and we, as the CRD, have been working very closely with the provincial government to get the licensees into the salvage areas to get wood out,” said CRD chair Margo Wagner.

“There is still a lot of dead wood we can’t get at.”

Only a 24-month window is available for salvage logging burned wood, as opposed to the 10-year window for beetle infected trees, because most of it is already on the ground and can start to deteriorate and become unusable, according to Wagner.

While the annual allowable cut doesn’t need to change, the focus needs to be on salvaging the dead trees to protect the mid-term level harvesting, which because of the fires, will go down to roughly 40,800 square metres, according to Wagner.

“The mid-term harvests levels will be reduced due to the 2017 fires and the fires are adding an additional downward pressure on the timber supply once the salvage harvesting is finished, so in 24 months I think you will see an impact on the timber supply.”

It is likely that it will be unsuitable until the late 2060s to return to old harvest numbers, as predicted by the ministry’s report according to Wagner, though she added that the prediction is projected on not having another disastrous fire season.

Clearwater Times