Sunday, February 7, 2010

Three Timber Supply Reviews Released

Given the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, I am very interested to see where the latest timber supply reviews are going. Last week three interesting papers were released:

Kingcome TSA
Kootenay Lake TSA
Prince George TSA

Kingcome TSA - part of the North Island Central Coast Forest District
Kingcome is a coastal TSA that has had an AAC of 1,232,000 cubic metres a year. The new TSR has reduced the AAC to 1,100,000. Not a large reduction from the current AAC and there is more than enough space to make this reduction through the non-replaceable forest licenses. NRFL have had an AAC of 170,000 cubic metres a year, though 47,646 cubic metres has been allocated to First Nation NRFLs.

The drop in AAC will make some impact on employment, but in many years lately the full AAC has not be achieved. The 10% drop in AAC will mean the loss of about 100 to 200 jobs in BC. The AAC is projected to continue to fall by 10% per decade till it reaches 728,400 cubis metres and then rising to about 963,000 for the long term.

Kootenay Lake TSA
This is not a final TSR, but a discussion paper. The latest analysis has a base case for AAC that is about 10% lower than the 2001 TSR base case. The assumption is that the long term sustainable yield will be reached in about 2040 and it will be between 544,000 cubic metres. There is no indication of any dramatic falldown in harvesting levels in the TSA.

I surprised that there is not a larger impact on the AAC from the problems with lodgepole pine. Even in this TSA the lodgepole is the leading species on 28% of the timber harvesting land base.

Prince George TSA
This is in the heart of the beetle kill. It is also the centre of forestry for North America.

In 1996 the AAC was 9.363.661 cubic metres, this rose to 12,244,000 in 2002 to deal with the dead lodgepole pine. That was raised again in 2004 to 14,944,000.

The paper has three scenarios under review, one continues with the current high volume of salvage and the other two drop this to the 2002 volume. In all three scenarios harvest levels remain high for 12-15 years and then quickly falls to 4.2 million in scenario one and 6.1 million in scenario 2A. Scenario 2B drops earlier but less steeply and finishes between one and 2A at the trough.

In 1 and 2A, the long term harvest level will be achieved in 2058 to 2068 and be close to the 1996 harvest level.

The times will be tough from about 2020 to 2048.

What all three analysis's are saying to me is that BC will still have a a large and significant portion of the timber harvest in Canada long into the future. It is not unreasonable to expect a 60,000,000 cubic metre harvest in 2060 in BC.

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