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Timber Supply Review

The Timber Supply Review program began in 1992 to regularly update timber supply in each of the 37 timber supply areas (TSAs) and 33 tree farm licences (TFLs) throughout the province. By law, in British Columbia, allowable annual cuts (AACs) for TSAs and TFLs must be redetermined at least once every five years.

The main objectives of the Timber Supply Review are to:

A timber supply area is an area of Crown land designated by the Minister of Forests in accordance with the Forest Act and managed for a range of objectives including timber production.

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The chief forester's role

Determining AACs for Crown forest land in B.C is one of the chief forester's most important responsibilities since it affects local and provincial economies, community stability and the environment-now and in the future. In recognition of this, Section 8 of the Forest Act, requires the chief forester to consider a wide range of environmental, social and economic factors such as:

Some of these factors can be measured and analysed-others cannot. Ultimately, the chief forester's determination is an independent professional judgement. The chief forester is not directed by the minister of forests when setting an AAC.
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The Timber Supply Review process

The process for determining AACs for TSAs is based on a five-step process which takes approximately 22 months. Figure 1 illustrates the estimated time required for each of these steps.

TSA Chart Bar

1. Data package and information report

BC Forest Service district staff, in co-operation with local BC Environment staff, assemble for the timber supply analysis, the best available information on the current forest resource inventory and practices within the TSA. Information about our forests, other resources and management practices are summarized and documented in a data package. The key elements of this technical report are then published in an information report.
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2. Public review

After the information report is released, there is a 30-day public review period. Interested groups are provided with copies of the information report and the data package is available upon request from the local forest district and regional offices. Particular attention is paid to informing timber tenure holders, forest workers, stakeholders, First Nations and local government officials. After the public review, the BC Forest Service reviews the public input and makes any necessary changes to the data and management assumptions that will be used in the Timber Supply Area Analysis Report.
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3. Timber supply area analysis report and public discussion paper

Computer models are used to project timber supply over 250 years based on the inventory information, expected growth, and management practices. Since forests are complex and constantly changing, timber supply analysts evaluate the implications for timber supply of uncertainty about the variables in the inventory information and management practices.

The computer model is also used to generate a base case forecast-a timber supply forecast that illustrates the effect of current forest management on timber supply. It is not an AAC recommendation, but rather, it is one of many pieces of information that the chief forester will consider when determining the AAC.

Other sections of the analysis report provide information about the social, economic and environmental aspects of the TSA, including:

The results of these analyses are compiled in a Timber Supply Area Analysis Report. This technical report is summarized in a Public Discussion Paper. Both documents are released for a two-month public review and comment period.
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4. Public review

During this two-month public review period, the BC Forest Service actively solicits public input by holding meetings with interested parties and in some instances, open houses may be held in the communities within the TSA. All public input collected at this time is presented to the chief forester. It is summarized and documented in the Summary of Public Input which is available to the public once the chief forester has announced the new AAC.
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5. AAC Rationale Statement and Summary of Public Input

In determining an AAC, the chief forester considers the following information which falls under Section 8 of the Forest Act:

After weighing all these factors, the chief forester sets the AAC for the next five years, and outlines the reasons in a rationale statement. Once finalized, the Rationale Statement with the Summary of Public Input attached are released to the public.
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Public involvement in the Timber Supply Review

Public involvement and comment are important in the Timber Supply Review. During the process, there are opportunities for the public to attend meetings, review reports and provide public input which the chief forester considers in his AAC determination. Figure 1 indicates where there are opportunities for the public to review the information in the Timber Supply Review.
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A commitment to incorporate change

The Forest Act requires the chief forester to redetermine the AAC for each TSA and TFL at least once very five years to ensure AACs are current and reflect new information, new practices and new government policies. Implementation of major government initiatives such as the Forest Practices Code and Land and Resource Management Plans may have significant impacts on the timber supply in specific TSAs and TFLs. In these cases, the chief forester may determine the AACs more frequently than every five years.

For more information, visit our internet site at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/tsb or call (250) 953-3631.
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This site was last updated: January 20, 1999