Lillooet, AAC Rationale

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- riparian habitats

Riparian habitats occur around streams, lakes and wetlands. The Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act requires the establishment of riparian reserves that exclude timber harvesting, and riparian management zones that restrict timber harvesting. The timber supply analysis was completed before the Code came into force and did not directly account for riparian habitats, although some riparian areas with non-contributing forests (such as private land and deciduous types) have already been excluded from the timber harvesting land base.

A study was undertaken throughout the TSA by district staff to estimate the amount of area that should now be considered to be in riparian reserves and riparian management zones under Code regulations. The resulting estimates were:

area in riparian reserves (ha)

area in riparian management zones (ha)



In total TSA



13 866

In timber harvesting land base




The affected area in the timber harvesting land base was estimated by assuming riparian areas are representative of the entire land base in terms of operability and forest types, and consequently that the same percentage of the total riparian area would fall within the timber harvesting land base as is the case for the TSA as a whole. The combined 3425 ha area represents about 1.3 percent of the timber harvesting land base. The impact on timber supply, however, is a somewhat smaller percentage, since some of the riparian management zone can be harvested. The study did not estimate reserves required around wetlands, but this is believed by district staff to be a small area since there are relatively few wetlands in the TSA. More precise estimates of riparian habitats are desirable to decrease uncertainty for the next determination.

For this determination, while I recognize that there is some uncertainty about these estimates, I am prepared to accept the estimate that about 1.3 percent of the timber harvesting land base is in riparian reserves and management zones as the best currently available information. This represents a slight downward pressure on both the short- and long-term timber supplies projected in the base case, which I have addressed under "Reasons for decision".

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