Beetles take toll on BC forests
June 21, 2004 By Pulp & Paper Canada
The mountain pine beetle epidemic may lead to an increase in timber harvest levels in the Lakes, Pine George and Qu…
The mountain pine beetle epidemic may lead to an increase in timber harvest levels in the Lakes, Pine George and Quesnel areas. The current allowable annual cut in the three timber supply areas is 18.4 million cubic metres. However, a timber supply analysis has determined that an additional 5.5 million cubic metres of beetle-killed trees could be harvested annually for five years.
“The severity of the infestation on all forest values is obvious from the astounding findings of this analysis report,” said BC’s chief forester Larry Pedersen. “I simply cannot afford to ignore the fact that this epidemic is going to have a significant impact on timber supplies, the environment and the communities in the infested areas, whether the harvest level is increased or not.”
Pedersen will be responsible for ascertaining the quantity of wood that can be harvested in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licenses at least once every five years.
A survey conducted by the Council of Forest Industries’ Mountain Pine Beetle Task Force and the Ministry of Forests Bark Beetle Coordinator concluded the epidemic has infested 173.5 million cubic metres of lodgepole pine. To date, the year 2004 has witnessed an additional infestation of 66 million cubic metres of pine. Survey participants anticipate the escalation of the problem prior to its amelioration.
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