The BCFS timber supply analysis base case accounts for the 6 community watersheds that were recognized when the analysis took place. The area within the timber harvesting land base subject to specialized cover requirements under community watershed designation was 6200 ha, or about 2 percent. Since the BCFS analysis, new areas have been established, and the number of designated community watersheds has increased by 13 to a total of 19. These newly designated community watersheds cover 3266 ha that were in the IRM zone in the BCFS analysis, a change representing about 1 percent of the timber harvesting land base. The 13 new community watersheds came from an interim list of 18 potential watersheds referred to in the public discussion paper and in the public comments.
Relative to the base case, the main changes with the new watershed designations are that, on the 1 percent of the timber harvesting land base that is affected, a 4-pass harvesting regime would have to be employed to meet forest cover requirements, rather than the 3-pass harvesting assumed for the IRM zone, and that green-up heights would increase from 3 metres to 6 metres. Sensitivity analysis for the entire TSA showed that implementing a 4-pass harvesting system would not change the harvest forecast relative to the base case, and that extending green-up periods by 5 years (e.g. to help achieve 6-metre rather than 3-metre green-up heights) has only a very minor effect on mid-term harvest flows. Therefore only a very slight downward pressure on the base case is expected with these additional community watersheds, which I have addressed under "Reasons for decision".