Interim analysis shows 2009 harvest in steep decline

HBS - Year-To-DateHarvest billing trends so far for 2009 indicate lean sowing and planting seasons ahead into 2011. Will government give the silviculture sector a boost with an expanded and prompt restoration response to this year’s fires?

HBS July 2009.doc

BCTS – HBS.pdf

Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association B.C. Harvest Activity Analysis and Reforestation Trend Projections.

This summary and analysis is based on the monthly figures released by the Ministry of Forests and Range Revenue Branch in their Harvest Reports Billing History as of 31 July 2009. This government report is available at: https://www15.for.gov.bc.ca/hbs/

Major Interior licensees and three forest districts report no July invoices:

  • The monthly provincial cut was 1.9-million cubic meters bringing the year-to-date cut to about 25.8-million cubic meters. The harvest at this point may be substantially under-reported because three major Interior licensees have not scaled wood, or so it appears, for the month of July.

  • About 5-million cubic meters of the harvest to date has been through BC Timber Sales. Nevertheless, three forest districts: Fort St. James Forest District, Kalum Forest District and Prince George Forest District reported no invoices for July.

2009 harvest appears to be significantly reduced:

  • The total harvest to date is about 36% lower than the same time last year and is the lowest year-to-date harvest level in 15 years. This appears to be a dramatic reduction. See the attached monthly cut graphic for comparisons.

  • Historically, the cumulative cut to the end of July accounts for about 56% of the annual harvest level. Projecting this harvest trend to the end of this year ends up with a total 2009 cut of 46-million cubic meters; a significant 30% under-subscription of the year’s Allowable Annual Cut of 85.1 cubic meters.

BCTS’s relative share of the cut increases:

  • Based on these trends the regionalized harvested area in 2009 will be about 110,000 hectares. Of this, about 30,000 hectares will be BCTS harvest. BCTS’s share of the provincial cut seems to be increasing relative to the total volume harvested.

2010 seedling sowing demand headed for low:

  • The projected regionalized demand for seedlings, allowing for the historical proportion of natural regeneration, for this year’s harvest appears headed for approximately 96-million seedlings. Of this about 36.2-million seedlings will be attributed to BCTS.

  • It may be premature to anticipate the 2011 planting season based on these 2010 sowing projections. Missing in the total is the province’s Forests For Tomorrow contribution which is forecast to be 17 million seedlings (see comment regarding this year’s fire below). As well, there may be inventory in the woods, harvested by licensees and forest districts, which has yet be scaled as mentioned above.

Reduced stumpage revenues:

  • In addition to the reduced harvest levels there appears to be an even larger decline in stumpage revenues due to further discounting of stumpage. Thirty per cent of the harvested volume to date has been assessed a stumpage of 25¢/ m³ or less. Fifty three per cent of the harvest volume has been assessed a stumpage of less than 50¢/ m³.

Implications of this year’s fires:

  • Based on the WSCA’s running analysis of this year’s wildfire assault on the forests, primarily in the South Interior, the seedling demand, based on reforesting half the area burned, would, so far, amount to 50-million seedlings to be sown in 2010 as part of a prompt restoration response to the fires.

Web Link: https://www15.for.gov.bc.ca/hbs/