February 25, 2002
(Forest Resources and Agrifoods)
Minister announces new annual allowable cut
Forest Resources and Agrifoods Minister Rick Woodford today announced the new annual allowable cut (AAC) for the island portion of the province. The AAC follows two years of forest resource analysis and the use of a more refined and improved wood supply model for calculating sustainable harvest levels.
Unlike a single Base AAC that was calculated in 1996, the new AAC consists of two components, Base and Partition, which could be identified as a result of new methodology and wood supply model. The Base AAC represents forest stands that are easy to access and provide good economic harvesting opportunities, whereas the Partition AAC consists of hard to access stands that are less economic to harvest.
The new Base AAC is 1,797,500 cubic metres (m3), a 12 per cent reduction over the 1996 AAC which was set at 2,044,750 m3. However, the new total provincial AAC of 2,004,800 m3, which includes the Partition component of 207,300 m3, is only two per cent less than comparable 1996 harvest levels.
The new AAC is allocated to the Crown, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (CBPPL) and Abitibi Consolidated Incorporated (ACI). The breakdown is as follows:
Crown - Total
AAC: 533,400 m3 (Base AAC: 484,200 m3 + Partition AAC: 49,200 m3)
Minister Woodford said the reduction in the AACs is the result of an improved data base describing the forest resource and a new wood supply model which helped identify new land alienations in the AAC calculations.
"Improved technologies better equipped us to incorporate our sustainable forest management values into our planning, as well as recognize new environmental and wildlife values. The result is a reduction in our available timber supply. It is important to note that our total growing stock has in fact gone up, but the deductions due to other values have increased even more."
The new provincial AAC will see harvest levels vary in each forest management district with reductions occurring in most districts, while others will see modest increases. The AAC covers the period from April 2001 to March 2005, however any discrepancies between 2001 harvest levels and the new AAC figures will be balanced over the remaining four years.
Minister Woodford said the extent of the AAC reduction will depend on industryís ability to harvest the Partition AAC. "The real challenge is for the industry to capture Partition stands; by doing so their overall AAC reduction could be as low as two per cent. However, if Partition wood is not harvested, industry could face an overall reduction as high as 12 per cent.
"Economics will likely dictate what operators will do... harvesting the Partition AAC will require a change in harvesting methods, improved efficiency and increased utilization. It may cost more to harvest the Partition wood, but utilizing both the Base and Partition AAC is the only way to ensure harvest levels close to those set in 1996."
Minister Woodford said he is confident that the new AAC will help protect our valuable forest ecosystem and sustain our forest industries for future generations.
"Our AAC figures are based on the best science, best data and wood supply model available to produce maximum sustainable harvest levels. Government remains very committed to sustainable and prudent forest management and the new AACs demonstrate our continued commitment."
The AAC is part of the overall wood supply analysis completed every five years by the province, which will be incorporated in the departmentís new 20-year Forestry Management Plan. The new plan is expected to be completed within a couple of months and tabled in House of Assembly this spring.
Media contact: Sonia B. Glover, Communications, (709) 729-6183 or (709) 685-6612.
2002 02 25 11:15 a.m.