Effective Feb. 7, 2019, Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 54 on the west coast of Vancouver Island will have an area-based allowable annual cut level of 170 hectares.
The previous allowable annual cut for TFL 54 was set in 2011 at 315.8 hectares. The new lower cut level is due mainly to land base exclusions for Maa nulth Treaty settlement lands, inoperable areas and the use of a more conservative modelling approach in the Clayoquot Sound area.
“After reviewing all of the facts and information presented, taking into consideration recommendations from the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel and consulting with First Nations regarding cultural heritage resources, I am satisfied that my decision reflects sustainable forest management practices for Tree Farm Licence 54 over the next 10 years,” said Diane Nicholls, chief forester.
Located in the Clayoquot Sound area, TFL 54 covers over 49,000 hectares, with about 17,900 hectares available for timber harvesting. It is currently held by Ma-Mook Natural Resources Ltd., a company owned by the Ahousaht, Tla o qui aht, Hesquiaht, Toquaht and Ucluelet First Nations.
In 2004, TFL 54 was converted to an area-based allowable annual cut in order to test the effectiveness of regulating harvest levels by area rather than volume.
Area-based allowable annual cuts are in use only on TFLs 54 and 57. Both these TFLs are based in Clayoquot Sound. The use of area-based cuts is consistent with the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel’s recommendations for the area.
The new cut level also takes into account biodiversity, watershed plans, old-growth forest management, wildlife management areas and social and economic factors in the region. The dominant tree species in the TFL are western hemlock, western red cedar and balsam.
TFL 54 consists of 315 separate geographical blocks interspersed with parks, protected areas and other TFL blocks. Communities in the area include Tofino and Ucluelet, Ahousaht, Esowista, Opitsaht, Hot Springs Cove and Port Albion. A map is available online here.
- The chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is an independent, professional judgment based on information ranging from technical forestry reports, First Nations and public input to the government’s social and economic objectives.
- Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.
- In 2002, the Forest Act was amended to enable trials to establish allowable annual cuts on the basis of harvested area (hectares per year) rather than harvested volume (cubic metres per year).
- A copy of this allowable annual cut decision is available online.