Lillooet, AAC Rationale

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Description of the timber supply area

The Lillooet TSA, located in the south-western portion of British Columbia in the Kamloops Forest Region, encompasses the entire Lillooet Forest District. The TSA lies east of the Coast Mountains and west of the Thompson-Okanagan Plateau. The total area of the TSA is 1 123 827 hectares (ha) and includes the Leeward Pacific Ranges in the west, the Southern Chilcotin Ranges in the centre and to the north, and the Pavilion Ranges to the east.

In 1991, the TSA had an estimated population of about 5680, including about 2700 First Nations people. The major communities and First Nation reserves in the TSA include Lillooet (pop. 1782), Seton Portage/Shalalth (pop. 500), X'axlip (pop. 485), Lytton (pop. 331), Pavilion (pop. 253), Spences Bridge (pop. 165), Bralorne (pop. 78), and Gold Bridge (pop. 68). About 35 percent of the population in the TSA lives outside these communities and reserves.

Due to the mountainous terrain in the TSA, the climate and vegetation of the area vary greatly. The western portion of the TSA includes wet coastal conditions, while the eastern portion has the characteristic low rainfall of the interior dry belt. The drier areas within the TSA are included in the Interior Douglas-fir and Ponderosa Pine biogeoclimatic zones. Forested areas with higher precipitation are primarily in the Engelmann Spruce– Subalpine Fir and Montane Spruce zones. The Alpine Tundra zone covers the ridges and mountain tops generally above 2000 metres in elevation. The main tree species in the TSA include lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir and spruce; also present are ponderosa pine, whitebark pine, subalpine fir (also known as balsam), western redcedar and hemlock.

The forest sector is a major employer for the region and for the First Nations population. About 27 percent of the employment in the Lillooet TSA results from forestry-related activities. The public sector is the next largest contributor, with 26 percent, followed by tourism (13 percent), agriculture (6 percent), and mining (4 percent). Over the past 6 years, the major timber companies located in the TSA area secured about 52 percent of their mill requirements from their licences in the Lillooet TSA.

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