Warning: Some facts contained in this issue are hot off the press and should be handled accordingly.
BC’s Climate Plan Big on Investments in Forest Carbon Sequestration: Big News for Silviculter Sector
Our B.C. government has just announced today its intention to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050 and create up to 66,000 jobs over the next ten years as part of its Climate Leadership Plan. A lot of that will be accomplished by investments in forestry to increase carbon sequestration. The Plan’s new Forest Carbon Initiative will enhance forests for carbon storage and increase the rate of replanting and fiber recovery by 20,000 hectares per year. This will all be part of an effort to rehabilitate up to 300,000 hectares of impacted sites over the first five years of the program. If we understand the announcement properly, this would be the largest public investment in forestry in decades, worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It could also mean millions of additional seedlings will be planted over the next five years as part of existing forest management programs. That could see annual reforestation planting levels, which we have been anticipating will soon drop (see “When will the other shoe drop?”), not only sustained, but possibly increased. On the enhancement side there could be an increase in other forest stewardship activities as well. This looks like good news for our industry and for the forests. Obviously there are a few questions to go along with an announcement of this importance as we explore the details. We certainly will be discussing the answers to the above at next month’s annual WSCA business summit, which we will talk about next.
To read the plan, click HERE.
WSCA Annual Business Summit Set for Kamloops – Thursday 29 September
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
TRU Conference Centre
Thompson Rivers University
If you are a forestry contractor, consultant or seedling nursery operator who has an interest in where the silviculture contracting sector may be heading over the next five years you should attend this get together. Our program for this working session will include speakers from the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, Forests for Tomorrow and other agencies. This will give us a chance to piece together what our government’s recently announced commitment to carbon sequestration and forest restoration means for businesses. We will also look at projections for the short term as well, along with other emerging issues. The WSCA offers this session as a service to the industry. Our office will send out registration instructions in early September. They can be contacted at 604-736-8660.
When Will the Other Shoe Drop? The AAC Reductions and Reforestation
Jim Girvan continues to do sobering analyses of the ongoing drops in the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) and what they mean to the logging contracting industry. Those same drops have consequences for reforestation as well. His most recent article in the summer Truck Logger BC frames how the forest industry since 2010 has been in the midst of ongoing reductions in the BC Interior AAC. These reductions will put us 16 million cubic metres of AAC lower by 2020 than we are today, says Girvan. As examples he cites significant recent reductions in the Merritt and Kamloops TSAs along with discouraging forecasts for the Quesnel TSA.
What does this mean for silviculture planning and planting trees then? Using the crude quotient of seedlings sown divided by cubic metres harvested based on recent figures; losing 16 million cubic metres of AAC means losing theoretically approximately 90 million seedlings in the Interior. Of course that is not happening, at least not yet. The available cut so far is supporting sowing requests in the 250 million range annually and reflects some adjustment to the reduction. Plus with the total AAC not being harvested today it is harder to see when we are going to hit the wall (run our of available timber) and just how hard. And as Girvan points out, some areas are running out of room between the actual harvest and the AAC quicker than others. Sorting these moving parts is another task we have set for ourselves at the business summit.
Click HERE to read Jim Girvan’s whole article.