Burns Lake Comfor happy with annual allowable cut

Dawn Stronstad, general manager of the Burns Lake Community Forest (BLComfor) said the annual allowable cut (AAC) that has been determined for the community forest is positive.

Dawn Stronstad, general manager of the Burns Lake Community Forest (BLComfor) said the annual allowable cut (AAC) that has been determined for the community forest is positive.

Recently announced, the annual allowable cut for the Burns Lake Community Forest Agreement is set at 260,000 cubic metres, with a maximum of 52,000 cubic metres attributable to non pine conifer species.

This AAC is in effect until Dec. 13, 2013 after which it will be reduced to 100,000 cubic metres per year unless otherwise determined.

The decision was made in accordance with direction from the chief forester, Jim Snetsinger. In a letter to Stronstad from James Sayle, resource manager, he states that the decision was made taking into account three considerations.

“A balancing of objectives for all forest values both timber and non timber, maximizing the recovery of dead timber from the mountain pine beetle infestation and mitigation of mid term timber supply shortfalls,” he wrote.

He also acknowledged in the letter the fact that there is no identified issues with First Nations and that no public input was received prior to the decision.

“Maximized dead pine percentages in your harvest profile will reduce live conifer harvest which is essential to the mid term harvest level. Due to the uncertainty in dead pine shelf life, the pine beetle infestation and sensitivity to mid term supplies from current practices it will be necessary to complete a new timber supply analysis and AAC determination to implement on Jan. 1, 2014,” he added.

Stronstad presented the new AAC determination to the Comfor Management Services Ltd. board recently and noted that is was a positive step forward for the community forest.

The AAC was proposed by BLComfor at 170,000 for the next 10 years. However, Stronstad said, “This new determination provides us with more front loading so we should come out with about the same harvesting levels.”

“We have a clear mandate for the next couple of years to salvage the dead pine,” she added.

Currently Stronstad said BLComfor are finishing off harvesting for this season and she is pleased with the progress.