Some 700,000 cubic metres of wood currently comes out of the Boundary Timber Supply Area (TSA) annually. The Chief Forester will soon be setting a new Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) for the TSA.
But there is an opportunity for the public to comment before he makes his decision .
The last review for the Boundary TSA was done in 2000 and there have been huge changes locally since then.
Pope & Talbot is gone. So are the markets of a decade ago.
The policy of appurtenancy – the guarantee that wood will be processed locally – is no longer there.
Community Forests have come into being. One is in the works and other politicians in the Boundary want one too.
There is only so much wood out there and everybody is feeling the competition for fibre.
Perhaps no group has felt the squeeze more than the Boundary Woodlot Association. They thought they were set for expansion of their program but the land base they were counting on has now been promised to the community forest.
Meanwhile logs surplus to the needs of one local mill during the economic downturn were sold outside of the area at the same time another mill was actively looking for opportunities to buy fibre. That didn’t make sense.
There have been big changes in the last decade provincially too.
For example, the mountain pine beetle devastation in the Central Interior and the provincial response; or the trial balloon that floated over Victoria before the election about converting volume-based forest licences into area-based licences.
This invitation to comment is a limited time offer and the next chance won’t come for a long time.
Pray that those locals who will be responding give the well-being of our communities the highest priority in their considerations.