Lillooet, AAC Rationale

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Local objectives

The Minister's letter suggested that the Chief Forester should consider important local social and economic objectives that may be derived from the public input in the timber supply review process, where these are consistent with the government's broader objectives. The Lillooet Forest District received 9 completed response forms from the 47 individuals who attended the information sessions and open houses, and also 15 written submissions (Appendix 5 summarizes this public input).

Many suggestions were provided on whether, or how, the AAC should be adjusted in the Lillooet TSA. Most public responses, including those by First Nations, suggested that the current harvest levels should be immediately reduced, although some, including that of the forest industry, supported maintaining current harvest levels. Common reasons given for reducing current harvest levels included the desire to better protect tourism values, aboriginal interests, biodiversity and environmental values, and to account for land base uncertainties (particularly with respect to the Stein Valley and Spruce Lake areas). Reasons for maintaining current harvest levels included recognition of the many uncertainties in the timber supply analysis, such as the size of the timber harvesting land base, and the extent to which non-timber values can be addressed by productive forest land located outside the timber harvesting land base.

In my determination, I have taken the diverse public input into account. I recognize the many uncertainties associated with the timber supply analysis, which some have used to suggest the AAC should be lowered, and some that the AAC should be maintained. In accordance with my "Guiding principles for AAC determinations", I have applied my judgement to the available information, taking the uncertainties into account.

The employment and community impact issues are discussed in detail in the SEA, and I am familiar with the varying impacts of different harvest levels (see above discussion under Harvest flow alternatives).

The Minister's memo of February 26, 1996 asks that pre-Code constraints applied to timber supplies in order to meet visual quality objectives be re-examined when determining AACs in order to ensure that they do not unreasonably restrict timber supplies. I have discussed this above, under visual quality.

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