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The allowable annual cuts for timber harvesting will be reduced in the Merritt Timber Supply Area now that most pine beetle affected wood has been collected.
Effective immediately, the new allowable amount will be 1.5 million cubic metres and will decrease to 1.2 million cubic metres on Mar. 24, 2021. This is a decrease from the 2.4 million cubic metres set in 2010, which included a temporary uplift to encourage harvesting of mountain pine beetle-killed trees.
The new allowable annual cut is comparable to the cut level before the mountain pine beetle epidemic began.
“Now that we have nearly completed salvage harvesting of mountain pine beetle-affected stands in the Merritt Timber Supply Area, my new determination signals a return to more sustainable harvesting practices that will support and ensure the long-term timber supply,” said Diane Nicholls, chief forester.
Communities in the timber supply area include Merritt, Princeton, Tulameen, Douglas Lake and Spences Bridge, as well as the First Nations communities of Coldwater, Cooks Ferry, Nooaitch, Shackan, Upper Nicola, Lower Nicola and Upper Similkameen. Dominant tree species within the timber supply area include pine, Douglas-fir and spruce.
Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut in each of the province’s 38 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.