Annual allowable cut report, a ‘what if’ scenario

MLA Simpson questions annual allowable cut predictions.

After the announcement the Gold Pan’s timber supply increased by 600,000 cubic metres, Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson isn’t buying it – especially after reading the official report.

“This is just a modeling exercise,” Simpson said.

“It’s a what if scenario.”

In a release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations, it states “a new silvicultural strategy analysis has been completed that identifies a 600,000 cubic metre increase in mid-term timber supply over previous projections in the Quesnel timber supply area.”

However, a document obtained by the Observer, the Draft Modelling and Analysis Report for Type III Silvaculture Strategy, cautions the “optimistic” findings.

“The new information used in this analysis has yet to be fully tested under sensitivity analyses and, as such, should be considered cautiously,” the report reads.

Cariboo North’s Independent MLA, says government’s optimistic spin boils  down to, “in an ideal world if we did X, Y and Z we think we might get this…”

“None of this is ground tested,” he said, adding the report mentions nothing of fire, climate change, pest, or disease.

The press release from the ministry states, “the main reasons for the higher mid-term forecast in this analysis, as compared to the previous mid-term analysis conducted in summer 2011, are due to the incorporation of new information that indicates lower pine mortality estimates in young stands, more live pine remaining in older stands and new managed stand site productivity estimates that these stands will grow faster than previously thought.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry, John Rustad applauded the report and the findings.

“It’s great to see these initial results, which are encouraging for mid-term timber supply,” he said.

“These results also show the benefits of new digital and satellite technology.”

However the analysis obtained by the Observer, again cautions the optimistic findings.

“The shelf-life assumed in this analysis (20 years since time of impact) is considered somewhat optimistic and it is likely that some of the volume harvested in the model at the beginning of the second decade will be too degraded to process,” it reads.

“Failure to salvage significantly dead stands in favour of greener stands that would be viable even after dead volumes are past their shelf life will result in both lower midterm and long term harvest levels.”

Simpson said it’s situations such as this and the politicizing of issues that makes the public distrustful of the system.

“There’s no trust anymore,” he said.

“This report simply creates more timber by playing with the model.”

 

Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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